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Cablegate: Three Issues for Mod Tolgfors April 17 Call On

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSM #0272 1021516
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 111516Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM
TO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3342
INFO RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0078
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0077

C O N F I D E N T I A L STOCKHOLM 000272
SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/11/2018
TAGS: PREL MOPS PINR PGOV IZ AF SW
SUBJECT: THREE ISSUES FOR MOD TOLGFORS APRIL 17 CALL ON
SECDEF GATES

REF: A. STATE 19616
B. STOCKHOLM 187

Classified By: Ambassador M. Wood for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

Summary
-------
1. (C) In connection the upcoming April 16-17 visit by
Swedish Minister of Defense Sten Tolgfors to Washington,
Embassy recommends raising two requests regarding specific
additional contributions in Afghanistan (ref A) and Sweden's
pending decision on participation in NATO's Rapid Response.
We also recommend thanking Sweden for hosting the upcoming
International Compact with Iraq Conference. End Summary.

Supporting ISAF in Afghanistan
------------------------------
2. (C) We demarched MFA and MOD regarding ref A request for
the Swedish Armed Forces to deploy a Battalion-level
Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) to Afghanistan
(Ref B). Although Sweden has promised to continue and do more
in Afghanistan, we have received no reply regarding the
OMLT,s. We recommend Secretary Gates raise the issue with
Defense Minister Tolgfors at their April 17 meeting.

3. (C) For the battalion OMLT to be operationally effective
would require a change in the current Swedish policy that
decisions to deploy Swedish soldiers outside their PRT area
be made in Stockholm, rather than in the field. Our sources
indicate no such deliberation is underway. In addition, the
Swedish Armed Forces has indicated its desire on several
occasions to deploy Medevac helicopters, JAS-39 Gripen
aircraft and possibly additional soldiers in its PRT. The
Ministers current views on these subjects would prove
enlightening.

NATO Rapid Response
----------------------------
4. (C) Sweden,s MOD had earlier expressed an interest and
the politicians are currently deliberating Sweden,s
participation in the January-July 2010 NATO Response Force
14. We had hoped that, like Finland, Sweden would announce
their commitment to the effort at the Bucharest Summit. The
decision was delayed by haggling within the governing
center-right coalition (which is led by the Moderate Party,
of which Tolgfors is a member). The pivotal Center Party is
hesitant, but a decision in favor of participati
on has not been precluded. The likely scope of Sweden,s potential
contribution has not been declared, though the Swedish Armed
Forces had said it would likely be a land component. Sweden
currently leads and contributes 2300 personnel to an EU
battle group with a core mechanized battalion, and intends to
do this again in 2011. There is however no reason to believe
this level of effort would be offered for the NRF 14. Sweden
must fund, recruit and train and from a pool of former
conscripts and reserve soldiers to field a force of this
nature as it has limited standing forces for this task.


International Compact With Iraq Conference (ICI)
--------------------------------------------- ---------------
5. (C) On April 3, Prime Minister Fredrick Reinfeldt
nannounced that Sweden will host the May 29 ICI conference on
Iraq, co-chaired by UN SYG Ban and Iraq PM Maliki. Secretary
Rice will attend. Reinfeldt stated what Sweden hopes to see
is the groundwork for civilian missions that build a country
in the long term, adding that Sweden plans to be very active.
Likely Swedish contributions to Iraq rebuilding efforts are
civilian and therefore largely outside the portfolio of
Minister Tolgfors, but we recommend Secretary Gates thank
Minister Tolgfors for the GoS hosting this conference.

6. (C) Bio comment: The Ambassador has cultivated a close
working relationship with Tolgfors from Tolgfors' prior job
as Minister of Foreign Trade. Tolgfors went to high school
in the U.S. and told the Ambassador he loves the U.S. and
maintains friends there.
WOOD

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