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Cablegate: German Out-of-Area Deployment Update

VZCZCXRO5313
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHRL #1995/01 3051148
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 011148Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9658
INFO RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO BRUSSELS BE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS BE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BERLIN 001995

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MOPS PREL MARR NATO EUN GM AF SU KV BK LE GG ET
SUBJECT: German Out-Of-Area Deployment Update

REF: Berlin 1822

1. (SBU) As of late October, Germany had 6,737 military personnel in
out-of-area deployments, plus an additional 600 dedicated for
SACEUR's Balkans Operational Reserve Force (ORF) and 3,100 for the
NATO Response Force (NRF). All military out-of-area (OOA)
deployments, with the exception of those in support of UN observer
missions, require parliamentary approval. A law regulates the
parliamentary process, allowing expedited procedures only for
non-controversial deployments. What follows is a brief run-down on
Germany's current OOA deployments. (Note: OOA deployments are
defined as deployments outside the territory of the NATO member
states. End Note.)

--------------------------------------------- -
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
--------------------------------------------- -

2. (SBU) The Bundeswehr currently has 3,057 military personnel
operating under ISAF in Afghanistan based on a one-year combined
mandate approved by the Bundestag October 12. This combined mandate
includes deployment of six Tornado reconnaissance aircraft, which
were previously covered by a separate mandate first approved in
March 2007. The troop ceiling for the combined mandate is 3,500,
which is simply a merger of the previously separate troop ceilings
for ISAF (3,000) and the Tornados (500). However, because the
Tornados only require about 200 troops, the merger automatically
creates additional headroom for Germany to take on additional tasks.


3. (SBU) The German government has announced its intention to use
this additional troop capacity to boost the Bundeswehr's involvement
in the training of the Afghan National Army (ANA). Some ideas under
consideration include expanding the current drivers and mechanics
school in Kabul into a logisticians' training center, cooperating
with France in setting up an NCO academy in Kabul and setting up
specialty military training schools in the northern region.
Assuming the stand-up of a new ANA brigade in the north (scheduled
for August 2008), Germany also plans to contribute four additional
embedded training teams (Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams --
OMLTs). Germany currently leads one OMLT (for a maneuver battalion)
and contributes to two others (for a corps HQ and a brigade HQ).
Germany also plans to build garrisons for the new ANA brigade in the
North.

4. (SBU) Germany has been active in ISAF since the operation's
creation in January 2002. Germany currently commands ISAF's
northern region (RC-North), where it leads two of the five
Provincial Reconstruction Teams (Kunduz and Feyzabad) as well as the
Forward Support Base in Mazar-E-Sharif. The ISAF mandate limits
normal Bundeswehr operations to Kabul and RC-North, but allows
temporary deployments to other parts of the country on a
case-by-case basis. In early May, at the request of ISAF, Defense
Minister Jung approved the temporary deployment (three to four
weeks) of a three-man psychological operations team to southern
Afghanistan. German radio operators have also been deployed
temporarily to provide communication support to Regional Command
South in Kandahar. However, MOD has thus far not allowed German
OMLTs to accompany their ANA units on deployments outside the north.
Meanwhile, the ISAF mandate allows the reconnaissance aircraft to
operate throughout Afghanistan, but restricts the distribution of
the resulting information to OEF to cases where it directly supports
ISAF operations.

---------------------------------
Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)
---------------------------------

5. (SBU) The current parliamentary mandate for OEF, which expires
November 15, allows the deployment of up to a total of 1,800
personnel. Currently, there are 246 sailors (226 in September) and
one frigate under OEF, operating around the Horn of Africa. The
mandate authorizes the deployment of up to 100 German Special Forces
(KSK) in Afghanistan. Reportedly, no KSK have been deployed to
Afghanistan under OEF in more than two years, leading some
politicians to question the utility of maintaining this part of the
mandate.

6. (SBU) OEF remains unpopular in Germany due to misperceptions of
the mission as a strictly combat operation and its association with
civilian casualties. Nevertheless, the mandate appears headed for
renewal on November 15, now that the leadership of the junior party
in the Grand Coalition government, the Social Democratic Party, has
succeeded in rallying their members in favor of it at the October
26-28 national party conference. The government intends to reduce
the overall OEF troop ceiling to 1,400 in the new mandate, but this
will remain far above the actual number of troops deployed.


BERLIN 00001995 002 OF 003


7. (SBU) While the SPD party convention was supportive of OEF, it
requested that the government evaluate whether OEF could be mandated
through a UNSCR (rather than continuing to have it based on the
self-defense provisions of Article 51 of the UN Charter). The
convention also expressed the view that OEF should continue to
shrink in favor of ISAF -- through, for example, the transfer of the
ANA training mission to ISAF. Extension of the OEF mandate is
expected to be more difficult next year, in the run-up to the 2009
national parliamentary election, given that popular support in
Germany for the mission is already so low.

-------------------
Kosovo Force (KFOR)
-------------------

8. (SBU) Germany currently has 2,218 military personnel (compared to
2,438 in September) in KFOR, ar below that allowed under the
parliamentary mandate (8,500). The mandate is extended
automatcally each year unless there is a change to the UNC
Resolution framework for the Kosovo Force. It remains unclear
whether a new or amended parliamentary mandate will be required or
requested in the event of a unilateral declaration of independence
by Kosovo.

-----------------------------------
European Union Force (EUFOR) Bosnia
-----------------------------------

9. (SBU) Germany currently has 316 soldiers (compared to 483 in
September) in Bosnia as part of the EU's Operation ALTHEA. The
mandate, last amended December 1, allows up to 2,400 military
personnel. This operation extends automatically unless there is a
change to its underlying UNSC resolution. Over the last several
months the German government has been slowly reducing its military
presence in coordination with other allies, but that process has
been suspended recently in light of current problems in implementing
reform measures mandated by the Dayton Peace agreement.

--------------------------------------------- ---
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)
--------------------------------------------- ---

10. (SBU) Germany leads UNIFIL's naval component and has 805
military personnel deployed (compared to 830 in September). The
Bundestag extended the mandate on September 12 for an additional
year, with a reduced troop ceiling of 1,400 (down from 2,400). The
mandate authorizes the Bundeswehr to continue leading UNIFIL's naval
component until February 2008.

------------------------------
Sudan (UNAMID, UNMIS and AMIS)
------------------------------

11. (SBU) Germany currently has 37 military observers (compared to
38 in September) in the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), monitoring the
implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The parliament
imposed a caveat barring military observers from going to Darfur
without prior consultation with the Bundestag Foreign Relations
Committee's chairman and ranking members. The mandate allows the
participation of up to 75 military observers. The current UNMIS
mandate expires November 15, but it is expected to be extended
unchanged.

12. (SBU) While there is parliamentary mandate for the Bundeswehr to
deploy transport aircraft and up to 200 troops in support of the
African (Union) Mission in Sudan (AMIS), this mandate has gone
practically unused in the last year, with the AU requesting only
sporadic assistance from Germany. The current six-month AMIS
mandate expires December 14.

13. (SBU) While welcoming passage of UNSCR 1769 (which establishes
the UN Assistance Mission in Darfur, UNAMID), the government has
ruled out additional troops or assets for the new hybrid UN/AU
force, beyond the limits in the existing UNMIS and AMIS mandates.
The government has recently resisted taking on any additional
military commitments in Darfur or elsewhere for fear it could
undermine support for renewal of the Afghanistan (ISAF, OEF)
mandates. This reluctance was demonstrated most recently in
Germany's decision to forego participation in the ESDP operation in
Chad. However, once the OEF mandate is safely renewed as expected
in mid-November, the government may become more open to providing
support for other missions. For example, given that air lift
support for AMIS has been unused for a while, there might be some
headroom for Germany to provide these assets. The German government
is currently preparing a new mandate that would allow the Bundeswehr
to shift assets currently allocated to UNMIS and AMIS to UNAMID.
Approval of the mandate is expected November 15.


BERLIN 00001995 003 OF 003


----------------
Georgia (UNOMIG)
----------------

14. (SBU) Germany has been part of the UN Observer Mission in
Georgia (UNOMIG) since 1998 and currently has 12 personnel (compared
to 16 in September) stationed there, most of whom are medical
personnel and military observers. To the meet a UN request for
additional medical personnel, the German cabinet decided August 8 to
raise the personnel ceiling for this mission from 13 to 20.

-----------------------
Other minor deployments
-----------------------

15. (SBU) Two military observers serve in Ethiopia and Eritrea for
the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). One
German military observer is seconded to the United Nation Assistance
Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The Bundeswehr has seconded 41
military personnel to Strategic Medical Evacuation
(STRATAIRMEDEVAC), for which no parliamentary mandate is required,
as it is not defined as an armed deployment and the aircraft are on
stand-by in Germany.

-----------------------
Other force commitments
-----------------------

16. (SBU) The Bundeswehr currently has 600 soldiers dedicated as
SACEUR's Operational Reserve Force (ORF) for the Balkans and 3,100
soldiers for the ninth rotation of the NATO Response Force (NRF).

-------------------------
Bundeswehr transformation
-------------------------

17. (SBU) The Bundeswehr is currently undergoing a transformation
process, the goal of which is to be able to send up to 14,000
soldiers to as many as five different theaters for stabilization
missions by 2010. The Bundeswehr will be reduced from its
pre-transformation level of 270,000 to a final strength of 250,000
(162,300 Army, 62,700 Air Force and 25,000 Navy). The new
Bundeswehr will be composed of three different groups: 35,000 for
intervention forces, 70,000 for stabilization forces and 147,000 for
support forces. Part of the Bundeswehr's transformation is a
comprehensive rebasing program, which is also intended to be
completed by 2010. Moreover, transformation includes the
procurement of new equipment to fill capability gaps, mainly in the
fields of strategic air lift, network centric warfare and armored
vehicles. Mainly due to limited funding (Germany spends just 1.2
percent of its GDP on defense, with few prospects of significant
increases in the future), the equipping side of transformation is
behind schedule.

TIMKEN

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