Search

 

Cablegate: Jcmb Vii - Tokyo Political Director's Meeting On Afganistan

VZCZCXRO5756
PP RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #0455 0551225
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241225Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2969
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC 0607
RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS KABUL 000455

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA/FO, SCA/RA, AND SCA/A
DEPT PASS AID/ANE
DEPT PASS USTR FOR GERBER AND KLEIN
DEPT PASS OPIC FOR ZAHNISER
DEPT PASS TDA FOR STEIN AND GREENIP
USOECD FOR ENERGY ATTACHE
CENTCOM FOR CSTC-A
NSC FOR JWOOD
TREASURY FOR LMCDONALD, ABAUKOL, BDAHL, AND MNUGENT
OSD FOR SHIVERS
COMMERCE FOR DEES, CHOPPIN, AND FONOVICH

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: ECON OTRA PREL AF
SUBJECT: JCMB VII - TOKYO POLITICAL DIRECTOR'S MEETING ON AFGANISTAN
STRUGGLES ON THEME, BUT IS STILL THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN
1. (SBU) SUMMARY. On February 5 in Tokyo, Japanese Foreign Minister
Komura, Afghan Foreign Minister Spanta, and Acting Special

Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General at the United Nations
Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Asplund kicked off the
annual Political Director (PD)-level gathering of the seventh Joint
Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB). The meeting yielded a
steady chorus of long speeches and familiar themes covering a
four-hour span, but struggled to define a common theme after UNAMA's
integrated strategy paper, which was to have been the basis for the
PD discussion, got pulled by the Afghan delegation at the proverbial
eleventh hour. JCMB delegates (except for the U.S.) were
conspicuously silent on the issue of appointing a new, high-level
U.N. Special Representative to Afghanistan (though this point was
added to the final version of the PD Communique). France announced
it would host an international conference on Afghanistan in June
2008. Most delegates also spoke approvingly of the plan to expand
the size of the Afghan National Army by ten thousand, an increase
from its current ceiling of 70,000 to 80,000. END SUMMARY.
2. (SBU) Although UNAMA's integrated strategy discussion paper was
pulled by the Afghan Government (the Afghans said they did not
require another strategy document), the need for a more combined
donor approach linking security to development persisted throughout
many subsequent interventions by delegations. In deference to
Afghan objections, delegates danced around the term "integrated" and
instead called for "all-encompassing", "comprehensive",
"multi-faceted" and "holistic" strategies. Despite the semantics,
the meeting yielded no obvious next steps on this issue. Except for
the U.S. intervention, there was a noticeable absence of dialogue
during the more than twenty interventions about the appointment of a
new, high-level U.N. Special Representative to Afghanistan (though
this point was added to the final version of the PD Communique).
3. (SBU) Afghan officials sounded familiar themes during their
presentations. Foreign Minister Spanta cited Afghanistan's numerous
achievements since 2001 but also outlined ongoing challenges,
particularly terrorism and drugs. Co-chair Nadiri called the JCMB
the central forum for coordinating the Afghan National Development
Strategy (ANDS), and promised the ANDS would be ready "in a few
months." Nadiri made no mention of the Paddy Ashdown withdrawal or
the need to quickly nominate another candidate as U.N. Special
Representative. National Security Advisor Rassoul thanked the U.S.
and NATO countries for their contributions, and said the security
environment in Afghanistan, while challenging, was overall much
improved compared to 2006. Rassoul called on JCMB delegations to
support the proposal to increase the size of the Afghan National
Army by 10,000 (COMMENT - this action was subsequently endorsed the
following day at the JCMB Ambassadorial-level meeting. END
COMMENT). Finance Minister Ahady urged donors not to exaggerate
problems or overlook successes despite the negative press that
Afghanistan was increasingly attracting. Ahady said that
Afghanistan's effort to engage in nation-building, state-building,
and democratization simultaneously was unprecedented, but that
progress was being achieved. Ahady welcomed the call for a major
donor conference in June 2008, but restated his usual appeal for
donors to channel bilateral assistance through Afghan budgetary
channels. Director of the Independent Local Governance program,
Jelani Popal, laid out a framework for drilling down to the
provincial and district level to establish more government presence
and efficiency of services at the local level. Popal's comments
were well received by delegates.
4. (SBU) During the U.S. intervention, head of delegation AmEmbassy
Kabul DCM Amb. Chris Dell applauded the establishment of the
Independent Directorate for Local Governance as an effective focal
point for coordinated efforts to strengthen local governance and
improves services and security. He also called for the appointment
of a strong figure as the U.N. Special Representative to Afghanistan
to improve coordination between civilian and security efforts. Dell
urged donors to muster the political will to provide more security
and development resources, including an immediate need to finance
voter registration efforts -- that must get underway this summer --
as a first step toward successful elections in 2009. He also
expressed full U.S. support for the proposal to raise the ceiling of
the Afghan National Army by ten thousand.
5. (SBU) The retinue of speeches by JCMB member delegations were a
combination of donors monotonously touting their own development
achievements, outlining challenges ahead, and offering generic
suggestions for improving aid coordination. The discussion was
flavored from time to time with subtle regional posturing, but the
dialogue remained positive and constructive overall. Donors were in
agreement that annual high-level gatherings of the JCMB, held in a
foreign capital outside Kabul, were a useful opportunity to keep
Afghanistan's security and development needs in the spotlight.
6. (SBU) Country-by-country interventions revealed some new details
but were, for the most part, rhetorically generic. France publicly
acknowledged it would host an international conference to be held in
Paris during the month of June 2008. China extolled the benefits
Afghanistan would reap as a result of its winning bid on the Aynak
copper deposit mine, including: up to $400 million in annual
domestic revenue, railroad construction and other new infrastructure
links to Central Asian neighbors. Iran and Pakistan avoided
controversial statements and emphasized Afghan stability as a vital
component to regional cooperation. Between complements to the
Afghan Government and international community, Russia took verbal
swipes at the poor quality of training for the Afghan National Army,
as well as what it viewed as the unbalanced ethnic composition of
the armed forces. No new financial pledges were made during the
course of the Political Directors session, though Norway did
indicate it had raised its annual commitment to Afghan
reconstruction by 50 percent per year. Japan also announced $110
million in "new" assistance, but in subsequent bilateral meetings
this was confirmed to be just an unspent portion of its 2006 London
pledge.
7. (SBU) COMMENT. As mentioned above, the JCMB PD-level meeting did
not produce any insightful new solutions on the issue of donor
coordination, and aside from a few nuggets (i.e. the June 2008 Paris
donor conference) did not yield any surprising developments. The
meeting plodded along in a formulaic and sometimes confused fashion,
compounded by the fact that the Afghan delegation did not issue
finalized conference papers until right before the meeting. The
Afghans' disorganization led to some grumbling and calls for a
strengthening of the overburdened JCMB Secretariat. This made the
clear lack of urgency in finding a successor candidate to Paddy
Ashdown ironic. And yet the act of another high-level meeting on
Afghanistan in a G8 capital, with full participation from an
ideologically and geographically disparate cast of donors, succeeded
in keeping the international spotlight on Afghanistan. For all its
faults, the primacy of the JCMB as the international community's
preferred donor coordination mechanism for Afghanistan does not seem
in jeopardy. END COMMENT.

WOOD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC