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Cablegate: Guidance for January 21 Unsc Open Debate On Unami And

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TO RUCNTD/USMISSION USUN NEW YOUR IMMEDIATE 0311
INFO SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
IRAQ COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 STATE 006172

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MOPS UNSC IZ
SUBJECT: GUIDANCE FOR JANUARY 21 UNSC OPEN DEBATE ON UNAMI AND
MNF-I


1. USUN is instructed to draw from the following text in
its statement at the January 21 UNSC open debate on UNAMI
and MNF-I.

2. Begin text: It is my pleasure to report today on
behalf of the Multinational Forces in Iraq (MNF-I), as
requested by UN Security Council resolutions 1546, 1637,
1723, and 1790. I was pleased to hear the report on the
work of UNAMI in Iraq and to see the progress it is making
under the leadership of SRSG de Mistura, particularly in
helping to address issues associated with Article 140. We
are also pleased the Council unanimously adopted
Resolution 1790 on December 18, extending the mandate of
MNF-I for another year and allowing Iraq time to achieve
the objectives it has set for itself as an independent and
sovereign state.

3. Mr. President, the United States shares with the Iraqi
people the goal of achieving a secure, stable, democratic
Iraq at peace with itself and its neighbors. It was with
this goal in mind one year ago that President Bush
approved an increase in our troop strength in Iraq to help
Iraqis secure the population, isolate extremists, create
the conditions for political and economic progress, and
accelerate the transition to Iraqi responsibility.

4. The continued implementation of the "New Way Forward"
strategy combined with the surge in overall force levels
in Iraq has considerably improved levels of security
during the past quarter. Efforts to enhance population
security, such as the establishment of Joint Security
Stations in key areas, have enhanced Coalition and Iraqi
forces' ability to interact with local residents and
obtain information on insurgents and illegal militia
activities. Improved security is beginning to achieve
momentum that, if maintained, may lead to sustained
stability.

5. The number of security incidents has fallen
significantly and is now at levels last seen in early 2005.
Monthly overall attacks - those against the coalition forces,
Iraqi Security Forces, civilians and infrastructure attacks --
have been reduced by 60 percent since June 2007.
The overall reduction in security incidents can be attributed to
several factors, including the continued decrease in
capabilities of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and militia extremists,
increased tribal initiatives against AQI and other extremists,
Muqtada al-Sadr's ceasefire order to his Jaysh al-Mahdi militia,
the increased capability of the Iraqi military and police, and
the sustained presence of Coalition and Iraqi forces among the
population.

6. Today we can look back at some of the recent and
long-term gains of this "surge" in MNF-I forces. Let me
introduce some specific examples.

7. Any loss of innocent life is deeply regrettable, and the
overall number of civilian casualties has declined significantly
this quarter, and now is below the
level in February 2006 prior to the Samarra Mosque
bombing. Coalition casualty rates have dropped as well and
December 2007 was the second-lowest death toll of the war, going
back to May 2003.

8. Another striking trend is the reduction in
ethno-sectarian attacks and deaths -- both of which have
decreased over 90 percent in the Baghdad security districts from
January to December 2007.

9. Weekly IED incidents have fallen 68 percent since the
start of Operation Phantom Thunder in late June 2007.
This drop in IED incidents may be attributed to the
disruption of insurgent networks that has hindered their
operational capability. High-profile attacks in Iraq,
such as car bombs and suicide attacks, have declined by
over 50 percent since March 2007.

10. As a result of the overall reduction in the number and
effectiveness of attacks, Coalition deaths across Iraq
fell to about one-fourth of the high reached in May 2007.
The number of attacks against Iraqi forces also decreased,
with a slightly smaller proportionate reduction in deaths.

11. There are currently 33 countries playing an essential
role to support security in Iraq either as a part of the
Coalition or UNAMI operations. Coalition members other

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than the U.S. and Iraq contribute approximately 10,300
troops to the Coalition, and another 450 to support
UNAMI. The specific contributions run from major
patrolling operations, such as the 1,850 soldier strong
Georgian contingent that operates in Wasit Province, to
the Albanian contingent guarding an airfield, to the 37-
soldier contingent of Bosnians who find and destroy
unexploded ordinances. These troops play an indispensable
role in the Coalition's daily operations and success in
Iraq.

12. The Government of Iraq is also moving forward to take
greater control of the country's security. Iraqi forces
conducted a surge of their own in 2007, providing well
over 100,000 more Iraqi police and soldiers. As of
December 24, 2007, the number of Iraqi Defense and
Interior Ministry personnel had risen to 516,646. Ten
divisions, 34 brigades and 108 battalions have the lead in
counterinsurgency operations in their areas of
responsibility, an increase of one brigade and five
battalions since last quarter. And of all formed Iraqi
Army units, 77 percent are rated as being able to plan,
execute and sustain operations with minimal or no
assistance from Coalition forces.

13. The Coalition continues to transfer responsibility for
security to the Government of Iraq which now has lead
security responsibility for nine out of eighteen
provinces. Prime Minister al-Maliki has pledged that Iraq
will assume security responsibility for the remaining nine
provinces by the end of 2008. The provinces under
Coalition security control will continue to transition in
the coming months as Iraqi forces demonstrate their
readiness to assume this responsibility.

14. This transition to Provincial Iraqi Control (or "PIC")
is proceeding as planned. On October 29, Karbala Province
"PIC'ed," and on December 16, Basrah Province did the
same. Over the previous four months, Iraqi security
forces had maintained their own security and successfully
demonstrated their readiness to assume full responsibility
over Iraq's second largest city and its environs.

15. Bottom-up reconciliation in the provinces has made
significant advances. Local leaders, both Sunni and
Shi'a, are working with Coalition forces, Provincial
Reconstruction Teams and the Government of Iraq to improve
security and economic conditions in their areas.

16. There are about 80,000 local citizens who have
volunteered to fight against extremists under Coalition
force supervision in many parts of Iraq. These citizens
protect critical infrastructure in their neighborhoods,
and some form neighborhood watch groups.

17. Anbar province continues to show dramatic improvements
in security. A year ago, Anbar Province was the most
violent province in Iraq, accounting for more than 25
percent of all attacks throughout the country. Its
citizens grew weary of the violence and turmoil that
plagued their province, and began to cooperate closely
with Iraqi and Coalition forces. The Anbar Awakening
turned the tide in the fight against al-Qaeda in Iraq in
the Sunni tribal areas. Today local citizens are fighting
al-Qaeda and working with Coalition and Iraqi forces to
bring security to their neighborhoods. As a result, this
quarter, attacks in Anbar plummeted to less than 6 percent
of the total, and life is rapidly returning to normal.

18. Despite these security gains, foreign terrorists and
suicide bombers still enter Iraq through Syria. Syria must do
more to stem these flows, including
instituting a stricter visa regime, detaining known
facilitators, increasing information sharing with
countries of origin and transit, and further enhancing
border security. Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard
Corps continue to train, equip, and fund Shi'a extremists
despite reported assurances to Prime Minister al Maliki
that Iran will cease lethal aid.

19. Mr. President, Iraq has come a long way, but much work
remains to be done. Looking ahead, we know that Iraq
faces challenges in several areas. In 2008, the
Coalition's four main areas of focus for the Ministries of
Defense and Interior and their forces will continue to
develop ministerial capacity; to improve the
capabilities of the Iraqi forces; to build specific
enabling capabilities including logistics, sustainment and
training capacities; and to support the expansion of the
Iraqi forces.


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20. Politically, Iraq's leaders need to foster an
atmosphere of cooperation and compromise, placing national
interests over parochial ones. They must work together to
address issues such as corruption and terrorist financing,
and pass laws on provincial powers, hydrocarbons, and
elections (to lay the groundwork for provincial elections,
that are long overdue). The Government also must address
the mounting problems of corruption, including repairing
the damage to the Commission on Public Integrity.

21. This quarter, the Council of Representatives of Iraq
overcame significant hurdles to pass the
De-Ba'athification Reform bill. This legislation, which
would allow many former members of the Ba'ath Party to
assume positions in the government, took months to achieve
and involved considerable compromise and collaboration by
many political leaders. The Presidency Council is
currently considering its ratification. [NOTE: Action may
be taken on this bill by January 21; please update
appropriately.]

22. Turning to economic issues, Iraqi ministries executed
43 percent of their capital budgets as of September 30,
2007, which is a substantial improvement over full-year
2006 budget execution. This investment in the economy
should help to stimulate growth and reduce vulnerability.
In many parts of Iraq, the reopening of schools, clinics,
markets and improvements in essential services all suggest
improvements resulting from hard-fought security gains.
Year-on-year inflation fell from 65 percent in 2006 to 16
percent through November 2007. The IMF projects that Iraq
will have modest growth of 1.3 percent in 2007. In
addition, 44 countries agreed to debt reduction for the
Government of Iraq on Paris Club terms.

23. International and regional engagement also continue to
improve. We are grateful for the Secretary-General's
participation in the "Expanded Neighbors" ministerial in
Istanbul in November, and for UNAMI's offer to support the
Government of Iraq in coordinating future meetings. UNAMI
has played an important role in the development of the
terms of reference for an ad hoc Expanded Neighbors
"support mechanism" office to be established in Baghdad.
UNAMI's commitment to provide technical assistance and
personnel for the office will be elemental in its success
and will help the Expanded Neighbors Process to continue
to serve as a valuable forum for Iraq and its neighbors to
address common security concerns and create opportunities
for greater cooperation.

24. UNAMI has also demonstrated its leadership in its role
as co-lead for the International Compact with Iraq, and in
its support for the UN Development Group which administers
one of the Iraq Trust Funds of the International
Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq. In recent months,
UNAMI has contributed substantially to standing up the
Secretariat that is helping Iraq and its donor partners to

SIPDIS
implement the reforms and initiatives that are called for
in the Compact, and helping Iraq to achieve economic
self-sufficiency.

25. Iraq is now a different place from one year ago. Much
hard work remains, but levels of violence are
significantly reduced and solid progress is being made.
Hope is returning to Baghdad, and returning to towns and
villages throughout the country. Iraqis who fled the
violence are beginning to return and rebuild their lives.
Some 30,000 Iraqis were able to travel to Mecca by air and
ground between December 11 and January 7 to perform the
Hajj. In preparation for this, the Mosul airport reopened
to civilian flights after being closed for several years.

26. Tactical and operational momentum is continuing to
build, and these improvements, combined with an increase
in provincial government expenditure rates, have
contributed to improvements in the delivery of essential
services and other key programs to the Iraqi people.
Cooperating with Iraqi and Coalition forces by tribal
leaders -- both Sunni and Shi'a -- has advanced
"bottom-up" reconciliation and assisted in countering
extremism. The numerous "tribal awakening" movements and
local citizens programs are creating grass roots progress,
but challenges remain at the national level. The key to
long-term success will be the Government's ability to
capitalize upon local gains, pass key legislation, and
promote reconciliation.

End text.
RICE

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