Cablegate: German Out-of-Area Deployment Update

DE RUEHRL #0250/01 0601120
R 291120Z FEB 08





E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (SBU) As of February 17, Germany had 6,657 military
personnel in out-of-area deployments (compared to 6,481 in
late January), plus 5,700 on stand-by 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 3,445 military
personnel (3,206 in January) 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. The troop ceiling
for the mandate is 3,500.

3. (SBU) The integration of the Tornado mandate with the ISAF
mandate created additional headroom of 300 military
personnel, which the German government is using to take on
additional tasks:

-- Germany will take over the Regional Command-North Quick
Reaction Force (QRF) in June 2008. This will be the first
time Germany will have a force that can be quickly deployed
around the country on short notice and which can conduct
combat missions. This will constitute a significant change
in the character of the Bundeswehr deployment in Afghanistan,
whose forces up to now have been focused almost solely on
stabilization and force protection missions. German
officials point out that the primary mission of the QRF is to
respond to emergencies in RC-North, but they also have said
that Germany will come to the aid of Allies (i.e., outside
RC-North) when in need. Such exceptions are explicitly
allowed by the ISAF mandate (see para 6 below).

-- Germany will triple the number of troops (from 100 to 300)
devoted to training of the Afghan National Army. Besides
fielding additional Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams
(OMLTs), up to a total of seven, Germany also plans to expand
a drivers and mechanics school in Kabul into a logisticians,
training center, set up a combat engineer school in Kabul and
establish an infantry training center in Mazar-e-Sharif.

4. (SBU) Germany currently provides an OMLT for a maneuver
battalion based in Kunduz. It also contributes to two
multinational OMLTs -- one for the HQ of the 209th Corps and
the other for the HQ of the 1st Brigade of the 209th Corps.
Both HQs are located in Mazar-E-Sharif. In early January,
Germany provided an additional OMLT temporarily for a second
maneuver battalion based in Mazar-E-Sharif. This German OMLT
will remain in place until Latvia is ready to take
responsibility for it in fall 2008. A new ANA brigade -- 2nd
Brigade, 209th Corps -- is scheduled to be stood up in Kunduz
in the fall of 2008. Germany plans to contribute four of the
seven OMLTs required for this brigade. Germany also plans to
build garrisons for the new brigade in the north.

5. (SBU) Germany has been active in ISAF since the
operation,s creation in January 2002, and was the first
country to volunteer to lead an ISAF Provincial
Reconstruction Team (PRT) outside of Kabul. Germany
currently commands ISAF,s northern region (RC-North), where
it leads two of the five PRTs (Kunduz and Feyzabad) as well
as the Forward Support Base in Mazar-E-Sharif. On February
23, Germany inaugurated a Provincial Advisory Team (PAT), a
mini-PRT in Takhar province with around 50 civilian and
military personnel total.

6. (SBU) The ISAF mandate defines the German area of
operations as the northern region and Kabul. However, an
exception in the mandate allows for temporary, limited
deployments to other parts of the country on a case-by-case
basis upon approval of the Minister of Defense. In May 2007,
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.

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German radio operators have been deployed for several months
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 Tornado
reconnaissance aircraft to operate throughout Afghanistan,
but restricts the distribution of the resulting information
outside of ISAF channels. The information can only be passed
to OEF in instances where doing so directly supports ISAF
operations. Since the end of January 2008, Germany has
provided an additional two C-160 Transall aircraft
Afghanistan to ISAF, for a total of eight.

Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)

7. (SBU) The parliamentary mandate for OEF was extended for
one year on November 15. It allows for the deployment of up
to 1,400 personnel. Currently, there are 227 German sailors
(246 in January) 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 almost three years, which led some politicians to
question the utility of maintaining this part of the mandate
during last fall's debate over its renewal.

8. (SBU) Despite parliamentary approval, OEF remains
unpopular in Germany due to misperceptions of the mission as
a strictly combat operation and its association with civilian
casualties. OEF is an especially divisive issue within the
Social Democratic Party (SDP), the junior party in the Grand
Coalition government. Some 42 SPD parliamentarians -- about
20% of the caucus -- voted against extending the OEF mandate
this past year. While significantly higher than in 2006,
when only 13 opposed OEF, the number of defections is
significantly below what the SPD suffered in March 2007, when
69 voted against the original deployment of Tornado
reconnaissance aircraft to Afghanistan.

9. (SBU) During the parliamentary debate on OEF, FM
Steinmeier called for evaluating whether OEF could be
mandated in the future through a UNSCR, rather than
continuing to rely on the self-defense provisions of Article
51 of the UN Charter. He also called for examining the
possibility of transferring the ANA training mission from OEF
to ISAF, thereby continuing the trend toward an ever larger
ISAF and smaller OEF. Finally, he proposed holding an
international conference in the coming months to take stock
of progress in achieving the goals of the Afghanistan
Compact. While there has been no concrete follow-up on the
first two proposals, Germany is supporting France in hosting
an international conference on Afghanistan in June.

10. (SBU) Renewal of the OEF mandate is expected to be
difficult this coming fall, in the run-up to the 2009
national parliamentary election, given that popular support
for the mission remains low.

Kosovo Force (KFOR)

11. (SBU) Germany currently has 2,182 military personnel
(compared to 2,226 in January) in KFOR, far below that
allowed under the parliamentary mandate (8,500). The
Operational Reserve Force (ORF) battalion, temporary deployed
to Kosovo from mid-November to mid-December, returned as
scheduled. The mandate is extended automatically each year
unless there is a change to the UNSC Resolution framework for
the Kosovo Force. Germany formally recognized Kosovo's
independence on February 20 in a letter from President
Koehler. The government made clear that it still considers
UNSCR 1244 as the legal basis for KFOR. Despite earlier
indications, it appears that the Bundestag will not insist on
a new parliamentary KFOR mandate to reflect the changed
circumstances in Kosovo.

European Union Force (EUFOR) Bosnia

12. (SBU) Germany currently has 127 soldiers (compared to 130
in January) in Bosnia as part of the EU,s Operation ALTHEA.
Most of the German soldiers are deployed as liaison and

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observer teams. The mandate, amended December 1, allows the
deployment of up to 2,400 military personnel. This operation
extends automatically unless there is a change to its
underlying UNSC resolution. In 2007, Germany reduced its
military presence in Bosnia by more than 700 military
personnel in coordination with other allies. Germany is
relying more on home-based reserve forces and less on
deployed troops to provide the necessary security support for
the implementation of reform measures mandated by the Dayton
Peace agreement.

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

13. (SBU) Germany leads UNIFIL's naval component and has 619
military personnel deployed (compared to 614 in January).
The current mandate, authorizing up to 1,400 military
personnel, expires on September 12. On February 29, Germany
handed over the command of UNIFIL's naval component to
EUROMARFOR, a joint non-permanent fleet including Portugal,
Spain, France and Italy. An Italian general assumed command.

Sudan (UNAMID and UNMIS)

14. (SBU) Germany currently has 39 military observers (42 in
January) 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, which was extended for an additional year on
November 15, allows for the participation of up to 75 German
military observers.

15. (SBU) The Bundestag approved a new mandate in support of
the UN/AU hybrid mission in Darfur (UN Assistance Mission in
Darfur, UNAMID) on November 15. The new UNAMID mandate
replaces the previous AMIS mandate. It authorizes the
Bundeswehr to deploy transport aircraft and up to 200 troops
in support of the UN/AU hybrid mission.

Georgia (UNOMIG)

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

Other minor deployments

17. (SBU) Two military observers serve in 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, since it is not an armed deployment and the
stand-by aircraft are stationed in Germany.

Other force commitments

18. (SBU) The Bundeswehr currently has 5,700 soldiers
committed for the tenth rotation of the NATO Response Force
(NRF). There will be no Bundeswehr soldiers assigned to EU
Battle Groups in the first half of 2008.

Bundeswehr transformation

19. (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

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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. Due to limited funding (Germany spends
just 1.3 percent of its GDP on defense, with few prospects of
significant increases in the future), the equipping side of
transformation is behind schedule.

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