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Cablegate: Afghanistan: Post Assessment On the Release of Night Vision

VZCZCXYZ0002
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBUL #0447 0541057
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231057Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2949
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

UNCLAS KABUL 000447

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/A AND PM/RSAT

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PREL MASS MARR AF
SUBJECT: AFGHANISTAN: POST ASSESSMENT ON THE RELEASE OF NIGHT VISION
DEVICES

1. (U) This is an action request - see paragraph 2.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: Post requests the immediate release of Night
Vision Devices (NVDs), specifically 1,750 pairs of the American
Technologies Network Corporation ATN NVG7-CGTI Individual Night
Vision Device-Night Vision Goggles, to the Government of the Islamic
Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA). The Generation 2 system will be
used by the Afghan National Army (ANA) Commando Battalions to
advance nighttime operational effectiveness while reducing
collateral damage risk. Two commando battalions are teamed with
Coalition Forces in combat operations at this time, with additional
units in training. USG funding for this equipment is estimated at
$2.3M through a Title 22 funded Foreign Military Sales case. END
SUMMARY.

Justification of NVD Technology for Release

3. (SBU) ATN NVG7-CGTI Individual NVDs will provide high quality
image clarity for nighttime operations. They allow the wearer to
select and clearly identify the enemy and reduce the possibility of
collateral damage.

Justification of GIRoA Need and U.S. Interests

4. (SBU) The ANA Commando Battalions need a viable night vision
capability that will allow them to safely and effectively support
ANA and Coalition Force night operations - particularly in
conjunction with Coalition Special Operations Forces. Release of
the NVDs will enhance the ANA Commandos' ability to conduct
counter-terrorism missions, improve interoperability with Coalition
Forces, and improve their ability to maintain their own defense and
security.

Afghanistan Safeguarding Sensitive Technology

5. (SBU) Afghanistan has demonstrated the intent and ability to
protect sensitive, classified military technology since working with
U.S. and Coalition Forces. The Embassy has confirmed with the
Afghan government, in writing, their intent to provide these items
with the same degree of security as the U.S. would provide. We will
continue to mentor the GIRoA on their protection of sensitive USG
technology in anticipation of long-term cooperation between our
governments. We also will obtain all necessary formal agreements
with the GIRoA before transferring any sensitive equipment or
technology.

Anticipated Reaction from Neighboring Nations

6. (SBU) We do not anticipate the release of these NVDs to the GIRoA
will adversely affect the regional balance of power or cause
negative reactions from neighboring nations.

Afghanistan's Political Importance to the Region

7. (SBU) A stable, democratically-elected Afghan government, capable
of protecting its people and sovereignty, and remaining at peace
with its neighbors is one of the USG's highest priorities. The
release and employment of ATN NVG7-CGTI NVDs will facilitate
progress toward this goal, advancing the ANA Commando Battalions'
ability to identify, target and carry out night operations against
anti-Afghan, anti-ISAF, and anti-OEF forces while reducing the risk
to self and others.

Source of Financing and Economic Impact

8. (SBU) This purchase will be financed by the USG using Foreign
Military Sales Funding. The cost is estimated at $2.3 million for
1,750 pairs of goggles. There is no significant economic impact
anticipated to be generated by this sale.

Relevant Human Rights Considerations

9. (SBU) There are no human rights considerations that should
preclude the release of the defense equipment to the GIRoA.

Training

10. (SBU) Training would be provided by U.S. personnel already in
country and not necessitate additional U.S. presence.

Post Recommendation

11. (SBU) Post recommends immediate Washington approval for the
release of the ATN NVG7-CGTI NVDs to the GIRoA.

WOOD

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