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Cablegate: Scenesetter for Cjcs Admiral Mullen

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FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE

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PERSONAL FOR CJCS ADMIRAL MULLEN FROM ANNE PATTERSON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/22/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER PK
SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR CJCS ADMIRAL MULLEN

Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, for reasons 1.4 (b)(d)

1. (S) Summary. We look forward to your visit to begin the
process of strengthening and refocusing our military to
military relations with Pakistan's CJCS General Majid and
COAS Kayani. This has become increasingly urgent because of
the expanding insurgency in the tribal areas and attacks
against GOP targets. We need to bring more discipline to the
Coalition Support Funds (CSF), FMF and IMET programs we
established in the wake of September 11 so they better
support our counter-terrorism objectives. You may wish to
follow up on the visit of the DNI and the DCIA to push
Musharraf and Kayani on our objectives, including pressing
all of them on expanded U.S. training and mil-mil and
intelligence cooperation If you can set the scene for needed
reforms, we can follow up during the annual bilateral
Consultative Defense Group meeting in the spring. Although
they are concerned about the 2009 expiration of the
President's financial commitment to Pakistan, the military is
reluctant to make necessary reforms. Your visit will help
change their attitude.

2. (C) At the same time, I would like to discuss with you
the assignment of more American officers in ODRP. We cannot
have more effective military to military relations until we
have more American officers on the ground. It will still be
a long and painful struggle to improve relations, but the
presence of more American officers is a minimal condition.
End Summary.

Political Uncertainty
---------------------

3. (C) A year ago, Musharraf's popularity was high; we were
working together to support a smooth transition to a civilian
government. Beginning with his decision to fire the Chief
Justice in March 2007, Musharraf has made repeated political
blunders culminating in a state of emergency (SOE) and
temporary suspension of the constitution. He is increasingly
isolated after firing long-time advisors who disagreed with
some of these decisions.

4. (C) The February 18 elections are too close to call. No
party will win enough votes to form a government alone, and
the current game is one of coalition building. Musharraf's
party remains well organized in the critical Punjab, but the
state of emergency, Bhutto's assassination, rising food
prices and electricity outages have cut his job approval
rating to 15% in the latest polls. Most analysts predict a
surge in sympathy votes for Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party
(PPP), but security concerns and a PPP leadership struggle
could reduce turnout and undercut this surge.

5. (C) If street expectations for a PPP victory are
disappointed, many are predicting violence, especially in
Bhutto's home province of Sindh. We can work with any of the
likely candidates for Prime Minister. But it may take weeks
or even months after the election before a new Prime Minister
is chosen and Pakistan again has a functional government that
can focus on tackling extremism and necessary economic
reform.

Security Concerns/Army Challenges
---------------------------------

6. (C) The January/February bombings in Lahore, Karachi,
Peshawar and Rawalpindi have further raised security
concerns, especially for political candidates. Suicide
bombings were practically unheard of in Pakistan two years
ago; in 2007, over 600 people died in suicide attacks
attributed to Baitullah Mehsud and other militants.
Militants have become increasingly emboldened, attacking
police, Army and intelligence targets. The Army was called
out to provide additional security during the Islamic month
of Muharram and will be deployed in sensitive polling areas
during the elections.

7. (C) Neither the Army nor the security services would
relish the prospect of adding post-election riot control in
Sindh to their currently full plate. Military operations in
Swat have been reasonably successful, but the Army will
likely have to maintain a significant presence there into the
spring. In the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA),
the Army has been working to prevent Sunni-Shia' violence,
exacerbated this year by militant involvement. In the
Waziristans, the government is encouraging rival tribes to
counter the influence of Baitullah Mehsud and his Uzbek
recruits.

8. (C) The militants continue to control the agenda; the
Army's currently limited strategy is one of containment
rather than pro-active engagement. Since they cannot defeat

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Mehsud with military action alone, they are renewing
negotiations, hoping this time to deal from a greater ground
position of strength. Attacks on the Pak-Afghan border are
significantly lower than they have been in the past two
years, but we are seeing signs that militants are moving back
into Afghanistan ahead of the annual spring offensive.

9. (C) We are making progress on the Security Development
Plan (SDP) for the Frontier Corps, although Musharraf may
complain about aid levels. Progress on the tripartite Border
Coordination Centers (BCC) has not been quick enough. We
will brief you on our FATA development strategy and how the
SDP supports livelihood and other programs now being
implemented in FATA.

Nuclear Weapons
---------------

10. (C) Pakistan's leadership is increasingly frustrated
over media reports that its nuclear weapons are about to fall
into extremist hands. In January, both the Foreign Secretary
and General Majid called me in to protest U.S. reports
questioning the security of the GOP's nuclear weapons. You
will meet with the Director of the Special Plans Division
LtGen (ret) Kidwai who, at the Embassy's urging, recently
provided briefings to the diplomatic corps and the
international press on the organizational structure and
personnel controls that safeguard Pakistan's nuclear weapons.
As demonstrated by the February 1 test of its Ghauri/Hatf V
missile, Pakistan continues development of its missile and
nuclear programs as a deterrent to India's conventional force
capability.

Meeting Agendas
---------------

11. (C) Separately, we are providing briefing papers
covering our proposals to bring better discipline to CSF,
regularize FMF based on a mutual needs assessment, increase
IMET opportunities, and launch SOFA negotiations and MOA
talks on improving transshipment of fuel and cargo to support
U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

12. (C) General Majid: You will find Pakistan's Joint
Staff a young and weak organization, but CJCS Majid is an
excellent interlocutor. The lunch he is hosting will provide
an opportunity to deliver our messages on the need for CSF
and FMF discipline.

13. (S) General Kayani: As expected, Kayani is taking slow
but deliberate steps to distance the Army from now civilian
President Musharraf. Kayani announced that generals would
need his permission to meet the President, issued public
statements distancing the Army from civilian politics and is
rumored to be considering a decision to remove active duty
Army officers from civilian GOP jobs. Kayani also has
declared 2008 as the "Year of the Soldier" in an attempt to
improve morale. Privately, he has discouraged ISI
interference in elections. With Kayani, you should stress
the importance of accepting U.S. COIN training and building
Pakistani CI capabilities.

14. (C) President Musharraf: You will find Musharraf
increasingly defensive and unsure of how to reverse his
growing unpopularity ahead of parliamentary elections. In
your meeting, I would recommend that you ask him to appoint a
Pakistani "czar" to coordinate security and development
projects in the tribal areas. This coordination will be
critical in implementing the USG's $750 million FATA program
and supporting DOD's strategy in the tribal areas. Musharraf
and Kayani will likely raise slow CSF reimbursement because
an economic cash crunch has heightened the GOP's need for CSF
payments. The latest $282 million payment should be released
in mid-February. He will raise slow delivery of training and
equipment to the Frontier Corps. You will want to follow up
on some of the specific issues raised by the DNI and the DCIA.

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