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Cablegate: Brown Meets Mccain: Discuss Iraq, Afghanistan, And

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OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHLO #0878/01 0870906
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 270906Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8024
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0598
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 0783
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0648
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0096
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0377
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV 0509
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1124
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0287
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1141
RUEKJCS/JCS WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 LONDON 000878

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/25/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER PHUM EFIN EAID UNSC IZ AF IS
IR, SU, UK
SUBJECT: BROWN MEETS MCCAIN: DISCUSS IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, AND

REFORM OF THE IFIS

Classified By: Ambassador Robert H. Tuttle for reasons 1.4 (b,d)

1. (C/NF) Summary: Prime Minister Gordon Brown met
Senators John McCain, Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham in
London March 20. Brown used the meeting to present his big
ideas about reforming the international financial
institutions (IFIS) and increasing assistance to Africa as a
means to prevent terrorism as well as counter China. McCain
gave his assessment of current progress in Iraq and thanked
Brown for showing political courage by keeping British troops
in Basrah. McCain and the other Senators raised Israel,
Iran, Afghanistan and climate change. Brown told McCain the
UK will increase its nuclear energy capacity and discussed
Iran in terms of Europe's management of its energy dependency
on Russia. Brown heard that McCain is looking for an
alternative to Guantanamo and McCain said U.S. personnel
"will never torture another person in our custody again."
The Senators and the Prime Minister discussed terrorism in
Iraq and the UK, with Brown ending the meeting by emphasizing
the need to win hearts and minds. The meeting took place in
Brown's Cabinet Room, but the mood was informal. End
Summary.

Participants
------------

2. (U) Prime Minister Gordon Brown met Senators McCain,
Lieberman and Graham in his Cabinet Room. Seated around the
table were Brown's advisors Simon McDonald, Stewart Wood and
private secretary Tom Fletcher. The Senators were
accompanied by Ambassador Tuttle, Senate staff Fontaine,
Serchuk, Shuffield, poloff and military escort.

McCain Thanks Brown for Standing Firm in Iraq
---------------------------------------------

3. (C/NF) Senator McCain thanked Brown for British military
participation in Iraq where, he said, "significant progress"
has been made. McCain said "in Anbar, people are happy, the
shops are open, they want to vote." McCain also thanked
Brown for Britain's military commitment in Afghanistan, which
he described as "difficult." McCain said he expected a
battle in Mosul that would last months -- there would be
casualties -- but it would not be like Falluja. He said Al
Qaeda "thinks they can't succeed unless they take Baghdad,"
and he thought "Iran was going to become more involved,
rather than less." He said there were 20,000 individuals
detained in Camp Bucca and that the release process had to be
started. McCain described the Maliki government as, overall,
"weak," but it had improved; starting at a "one" on a
one-to-ten scale, it now registers as a "four." McCain told
Brown the American people "want us out, but see success." He
added that what is being seen in Iraq is an increase in the
number of suicide attacks by individuals while statistically
the situation is getting better. McCain told Brown that
Israel is getting ready to attack Hamas; he did not know
when, but the attack "would be worse than the last time."
McCain also thanked the Prime Minister for his leadership on
climate change.

Brown on Iraq
-------------

4. (C/NF) The Prime Minister described Britain's changed
military role in Iraq, saying British forces had moved from
being a combat force to working with Iraqi troops to improve
their capabilities. Brown said the violence had diminshed in
Basrah although the JAM and the Iranian were increasing their
influence. The important element was providing the people
hope for the future. It was important to "put an economic
piece" in place, to give the populace an economic stake in
the outcome. Also important was increasing the operational
capacity of the police. Brown said the area has huge
economic prospects and that economic development was key.
This could be accomplished only by first training Iraqi

LONDON 00000878 002 OF 003


forces and holding local elections.

Brown on Afghanistan
--------------------

5. (C/NF) Brown said he was "worried that Karzai is not
strong enough" and the government administration was weak.
Forty-three countries are present in Afghanistan but NATO
country participation is uneven, even though "everyone knows
Afghanistan is the front line" for combating Al Qaeda.

Brown's Big Ideas for the IFIS
------------------------------

6. (C/NF) Suddenly becoming more engaged, the Prime Minister
turned to his interest in reform of the international
financial institutions (IFIS) and underscoring the importance
of aid in world affairs. "If you are going to prescribe
everything for countries, you have to provide economic
assistance," said Brown. "The World Bank has become the
World Bank for development," he said, "why not make it the
bank for assistance and the environment?" Brown said
putting,"the Bank at the center of the environment and not
just development,"would be an "act of statesmanship." McCain
told Brown that Senator Lieberman, together with Senator
Warner, is working on new climate change legislation.
Senator Lieberman said his bill contained a provision for
grants to developing countries and he thought the President
would sign it. Brown returned to his thesis on reforming the
IFIS, noting two other reforms were necessary. He said the
IMF was "almost irrelevant" and it had to take on a new role.
He said the world needed an "early warning system" along the
lines that Alan Greenspan had played for the U.S. If the IMF
took on this role, mused Brown, people would have confidence.
"Unless the IMF changes," said Brown, "it will become
increasingly irrelevant at a time when financial markets are
becoming more global."

7. (C/NF) Brown launched into ideas about finding ways to
"build failed states." He noted that there are some 100,000
peacekeepers across the globe but that failed states still
exist in places like Somalia, Darfur and Chad. "If we can be
more effective at stabilizing and reconstructing, some cases
can be avoided," said Brown, who pointed to Europe's
successful experience in the Balkans.

McCain on Iran; Darfur
----------------------

8. (C/NF) Senator McCain agreed with Brown's remarks about
nation building, but noted his own concerns with the Security
Council. He said, "no matter how clear the evidence is, the
Security Council is not going to act." This was the case
with Darfur. Iran and Sudan were two significant problems,
yet the world's next superpower (China) was constraining the
Council. McCain asked Brown if there were ways the U.S. and
the UK, together with other like-minded nations including
Japan, could work collectively. McCain said it was worth
exploring with French President Sarkozy if there were ways to
work collectively on Iran. He clarified that he was not
speaking of military action but of sanctions and noted that
"Iran is not going to be the last nation to seek to acquire
nuclear weapons."

Brown on Iran, Russia, and the UK Nuclear Program
--------------------------------------------- ----

9. (C) Brown told McCain he thought the G8 could be more
effective. As to Iran, it was the Eastern European nations
which were most concerned with not being dependent on Russia.
They were therefore willing to make deals with Iran. The
Eastern Europeans, "may want to do anything to have options
that are not Russia," said Brown. Brown told McCain that the
United Kingdom itself would be expanding its nuclear energy
program. McCain asked what the UK did with its spent fuel.

LONDON 00000878 003 OF 003


Brown said this was the controversial part of the program and
that peoples' fears were not yet alleviated. Building new
nuclear plants had to be considered, however, as it was clear
North Sea oil reserves are on the wane. The same decisions
were being taken elsewhere in Europe, Brown said, and pointed
to oil rich Norway making decisions on nuclear plants even
though its oil and gas reserves are far from exploited.
Lieberman raised the "up and down" nature of relations with
Europe. Brown plunged in, saying this year was good -- with
Sarkozy in France and Merkel in Germany. He said Europe was
ready to respond to overtures on the environment, security
and the global economy.

Brown on Africa and Terrorism
-----------------------------

10. (C/NF) The Prime Minister raised his concern that Africa
would be the next region to fall prey to the appeal of
terrorism. He said there weren't enough schools in Africa
and that madrassas were springing up across the continent.
"Al Qaeda will find support in some of these countries," said
Brown, "unless we show we are willing to be there." He added
that China was buying all the natural resources on the
continent and increasing African governments' debt. The
"twin issues" of China and Al Qaeda in Africa were his
concern. Brown said the UK and the U.S. needed to make
Africans, and African governments, an offer that will help
them to operate in a transparent and democratic fashion.
Brown's big idea was to give 10 billion dollars a year
dedicated to schools. Brown claimed this amount was
sufficient to provide each child in Africa access to a
school. Advocating that this could be the Western world's
"offer" to Africa, Brown said such a broad commitment to
schools and to health across the continent was necessary or
"terrorism will take hold." He said Western assistance to
Africans in the form of aid for education and health would be
concrete expressions the West can "deliver its values" and
would undermine the appeal of AQ extremism. Brown said
Africa presented a "big opportunity" and that African leaders
are ready
to respond and need support.

CODEL on Guantanamo, Torture, and Al Qaeda
------------------------------------------

11. (C/NF) Senator Graham said McCain was looking at
alternatives to Guantanamo. McCain reiterated what he told
Brown he has said before, "we will never torture another
person in our custody again." In Iraq, McCain said, the
Senators had met with a former Al Qaeda leader. McCain had
asked what had led to Al Qaeda's gaining a strong foothold in
the country. The Al Qaeda leader had replied, "two things,
the chaos after the success of the initial invasion, and the
greatest recruiting tool -- Abu Ghraib."

The UK Terror Threat
--------------------

12. (C/NF) Brown said winning the battle of ideas is
important. "We have terror networks in the UK, with four
potential plots active right now." He told McCain a huge
number of individuals travel to and from Pakistan and the UK.
The security and intelligence services in Britain are great,
said Brown, but in the end, HMG has to win hearts and minds
to isolate the extremists.

Visit London's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/london/index. cfm
Tuttle

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