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Cablegate: Arms Control Panel Ignores Real Issues at Munich Security

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DE RUEHMZ #0053/01 0430900
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 120900Z FEB 08
FM AMCONSUL MUNICH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4271
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/COMSOCEUR VAIHINGEN GE
RHMFISS/CDRUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE
RHMFIUU/HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRL/USDAO BERLIN GE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MUNICH 000053

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR EUR/AGS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PARM NATO GM MARR
SUBJECT: ARMS CONTROL PANEL IGNORES REAL ISSUES AT MUNICH SECURITY
CONFERENCE

REF: a) MUNICH 52
b) MUNICH 17

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The 44th annual Munich Conference on Security
Policy, with this year's theme "The World in Disarray - Shifting
Powers - Lack of Strategies?" took place February 8-10, 2008 at the
Bayerischer Hof hotel in Munich, Germany (see reftels). The second
panel on February 9, "From Cooperation to Confrontation? The Future
of Arms Control" included speeches from German FM Frank-Walter
Steinmeier, Senator Joseph Lieberman, IAEA DG Mohamed ElBaradei, and
Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch. While Steinmeier and ElBaradei
pressed their arms control agenda, Senator Lieberman noted that the
unique threats emanating from Iran merited a "uniquely powerful
response." Interestingly, no questioners asked for a greater
explanation. Unfortunately, ElBaradei barely mentioned Iran during
his speech. End Summary.

FM Steinmeier pushes arms control agenda
----------------------------------------

2. (SBU) FM Steinmeier lamented the lack of leadership by the U.S.
and other nuclear powers in urging arms control and disarmament. He
called for additional confidence building measures to improve the
global system of inspections and controls, and claimed that it was
up to the West, and particularly the nuclear states, to demonstrate
goodwill rather than only military power when pushing for a freer,
more peaceful, and more just world. Steinmeier fears a new global
nuclear arms race and urged the Euro-Atlantic community, especially
NATO, to come together to push an arms control agenda for the 21st
century.

3. (SBU) Steinmeier focused on the threat emanating from Iran,
stating that despite the NIE Germany remains convinced that the
danger from Iran is real and requires unified action, but did not
accuse Iran of being the premier example of why the NPT is currently
at risk. Similarly, while expressing deep concerns over the current
state of the CFE Treaty he, remarkably, did not once urge the
Russian Federation to end its suspension of the treaty. Playing
further into the hands of Russian apologists, Steinmeier then
switched immediately to discussing missile defense, calling for
additional dialogue (despite the fact that such consultations are
ongoing).

Lieberman focuses on Iran
-------------------------

4. (SBU) Senator Lieberman focused his comments on Iran's nuclear
ambitions. He urged the audience to read the full published
conclusions of the NIE and noted that, despite the NIE's assessment
that Iran halted its covert work on bomb design in 2003 - perhaps as
a result of the Iraq invasion - Iran continues its work on
enrichment. He praised Secretary Rice's offer to meet Iran "anytime
and anywhere" provided Iran suspend "even only for the duration of
the meeting" its enrichment efforts. Lieberman then thanked the
efforts of Great Britain, France and Germany in keeping the momentum
up and working toward a third UNSC resolution and urged the
expansion of additional EU sanctions. Without mentioning Germany by
name, Lieberman noted that "the power to prevent war with Iran lies
disproportionately with those who have the greatest economic
leverage over Iran."

5. (SBU) In light of Iran's deceptions and the lack of real progress
in negotiating with the Iranian government, Lieberman urged
additional efforts. Given the "unique terrible destructive power of
nuclear weapons, we should take uniquely powerful precautions to
prevent their acquisition by any regime whose leaders have openly
called for the destruction of another state." Interestingly, during
the question and answer period, none among the attendees asked for a
further explanation of the Senator's specific thoughts on what
constitutes "uniquely powerful" measures to counter Iran.

ElBaradei chides nuclear powers, says little about Iran
--------------------------------------------- ----------

6. (SBU) Immediately following Senator Lieberman's speech, IAEA
Director General Mohammed ElBaradei spoke and, remarkably, only
briefly touched upon the issue of the Iranian nuclear program toward

MUNICH 00000053 002 OF 003


the end of his speech. Furthermore, he did not even mention Senator
Lieberman's exposition of the threat from Iran, choosing instead to
endorse the recent Wall Street Journal article by Nunn, Perry,
Shultz, and Kissinger, and advocating a global security structure
that is not based on nuclear weapons. He urged the nuclear "haves"
to demonstrate renewed commitment to the eventual abolition of all
nuclear weapons, arguing that without such a commitment,
non-proliferation was "not sustainable." ElBaradei spoke about the
trafficking of nuclear materials, adding his fear that most of the
nuclear materials recovered were never reported stolen. Continuing
his random stroll through the realm of arms control, ElBaradei next
underlined that the CTBT is the "jewel in the crown" of
non-proliferation.

7. (SBU) ElBaradei then turned his sites on missile defense,
criticizing the reliance on "shields instead of abolition,"
"hardware instead of software," and "hard power instead of soft
power." He recommended empowering the UN and the UNSC, but provided
no guidance or vision on how that would work. When he finally did
mention Iran, ElBaradei made distinctions between the past, the
present and the future. He said that Iran has not been transparent
about its past and that there is good progress in determining
"whether" Iran actually had a weaponization program. He reported
that Iran is cooperating well on current issues related to the work
plan, but added that questions about the future must still be
addressed, mainly the suspension of the enrichment program, direct
negotiations and regional security issues must be addressed.

Support for U.S.-India nuclear deal
-----------------------------------

8. (U) ElBaradei sounded a more positive note when responding to a
question by German Bundestag member Uta Zapf (SPD) and Werner Hoyer
(FDP) about the effect of the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal on the
nonproliferation regime. ElBaradei argued that the deal will bring
India closer to the NPT framework - calling it a "win-win." He
added that it is unrealistic to expect India to join the NPT "even
in 100 years" and noted that India has an excellent record on
nonproliferation matters, despite the fact that it has not signed
the treaty. He also underscored that India, with some 650 million
people living with unmet energy needs, has a desperate need for
reliable energy development.

Human Rights Watch pushes for cluster munitions ban
--------------------------------------------- ------

9. (U) The final, highly technical speech by Human Rights Watch
Executive Director Kenneth Roth focused on need to ban the use of
cluster munitions and on the so-called "Oslo Process," which aims to
reach agreement "by year's end" to do just that. He noted
similarities between the effort to ban cluster munitions and the
similar effort to ban anti-personnel land mines (the so-called
Ottawa Agreement). While recognizing CM have "limited military
utility," Roth said that the use of CM kills an unacceptably large
number of civilians, even months after the conflict has passed.
Roth argued that only a total ban through Oslo -- rather than a
"regulating" agreement through the Convention on Conventional
Weapons -- will make the use of these weapons during conflicts as
morally reprehensible as the use of land mines.

10. (U) One interesting note, Roth called for the creation of a
"hearts and minds fund" to compensate -- without accepting any legal
responsibility -- those innocent civilians negatively affected by
war or conflict. He called on the EU to consider creating such a
fund whereby the families of victims would receive assistance,
financial or otherwise, should a military attack result in the
innocent loss of life. While there were no official interventions
on this idea, corridor conversation following this panel took up
this notion.

11. (U) For more information on the 44th Conference and past
conferences, visit: "http://www.securityconference.de" and
"http://munich.usconsulate.gov."

12. (U) This report has been coordinated with Embassy Berlin.

13. (U) Previous reporting from Munich is available on our SIPRNET
Website at www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/munich/.


MUNICH 00000053 003 OF 003


NELSON

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