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Cablegate: Visit of Admiral Fitzgerald: How Best to Advance

VZCZCXRO2709
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHLU #0174 0630703
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 030703Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4625
RHMFIUU/COMUSNAVEUR NAPLES IT PRIORITY
INFO RUENAAA/SECNAV WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCGEVC/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE PRIORITY
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

UNCLAS LUANDA 000174

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OTRA MAAR PREL AO
SUBJECT: VISIT OF ADMIRAL FITZGERALD: HOW BEST TO ADVANCE
OUR MILITARY ENGAGEMENT WITH ANGOLA

REF: LUANDA 172

1. (SBU) Summary: Admiral Fitzgerald's visit to Angola comes
three months after the successful visit of Africom Commander
General Ward in December of 2007. The Angolans will expect
Admiral Fitzgerald to deliver a similar message concerning
the role of Africom in the U.S. military strategy in Africa.
The Admiral's visit will build trust between our militaries
and reinforce the benefits of a stronger bilateral
relationship. The Admiral's meetings in Angola will likely
be more successful if they focus on taking small steps with
the Angolans toward the creation of a more mature bilateral
relationship down the road. We urge the Admiral to advocate
within the DOD for the establishment of an Office for Defense
Cooperation within the U.S. Embassy Luanda. End Summary.

2. (SBU) We've seen with past visits by high-level U.S.
military leaders (e.g. Africom Commander General Ward) that
the Angolans are easily overwhelmed by offers of broad
cooperation from the USG. Prior solicitations of Angolan
interest in their participation in a myriad of beneficial
U.S. programs generally have been ignored.

3. (SBU) As Admiral Fitzgerald interacts with Angolan
officials, we suggest that the Angolans would appreciate an
opportunity to describe to the Admiral their view of a
bilateral military relationship with the United States. In
addition, the Angolans seem to respond more favorably to
offers of assistance that require no commitment on their part
to a long-term relationship with the United States.

4. (SBU) We offer the following suggested talking points,
based on discussions with the DATT. These points will be
most effective if they can be presented as our response to
the Angolans' vision of a bilteral relationship.

-- African Partnership Station (APS): Even if the Admiral
raises this issue with the Minister of Defense, the Embassy
assesses that Angola will not generate an official request to
participate in APS. To move our relationship forward, the
Admiral could offer specific slots for ship riders or
training/observation opportunities within the APS schedule.

-- MSSIS: Each independent element of the MSSIS program
should be explained and discussed with Angola to build trust
and confidence with the military leadership on the issue.
They will be suspicious, for example, of the prerequisite
need for a field study.

-- Hydrographic Survey: This offer should be packaged as a
deliverable out of the Admiral's visit. He could offer the
survey and try to draw out an agreement from the Angolan
government. If we ask for Angola to request this, it will
likely never happen.

5. (SBU) We also urge the Admiral to advocate within the DOD
for the establishment of an Office of Defense Cooperation
within the U.S. Embassy Luanda. Our fledgling bilateral
relationship with this complex but strategically important
partner requires a full time position to further develop our
outreach efforts.
FERNANDEZ

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