Cablegate: Guidance for April 28 Unsc Open Debate On Unami And

DE RUEHC #4332/01 1170143
O 260136Z APR 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. USUN is instructed to draw from the following text in
its statement at the April 28 UNSC open debate on UNAMI
and MNF-I.

2. Begin text: It is my pleasure to report today on
behalf of the Multinational Forces in Iraq (MNF-I), as
requested by Security Council resolutions 1546, 1637,
1723, and 1790. I would also like to thank the Secretary -
General for the submission of his report on the progress
made by UNAMI and express our appreciation to SRSG Staffan
de Mistura and all the staff of UNAMI for their courageous
efforts, dedication, and hard work.

3. Mr. President, the United States shares with the
people of Iraq the goal of achieving a secure, unified,
and democratic Iraq that can govern, defend, and sustain
itself. In early 2007, President Bush and the government
of Iraq approved increases in the numbers of Coalition and
Iraqi forces to ensure the security of Iraqi communities
and promote reconciliation at the local and national
levels. The overall security environment in Iraq
continues to improve and there have been some gains on the
political, economic and diplomatic fronts as well.
Nevertheless, progress has been uneven in certain areas
and many challenges still remain.

4. The average weekly number of security incidents has
decreased since my last report, and the level of violence
nationwide continues to be significantly lower than levels
seen in late summer 2007. Although there was a brief rise
in security incidents in recent weeks as a result of the
violence in Baghdad and Basrah, the level of incidents is
going down once again. Significantly, the violence in Baghdad
and Basrah was the result of proactive measures by the Iraqi
government to combat terrorists, militias, and criminals -
regardless of sectarian identity. The result of these efforts
is encouraging; the Iraqi government has taken control of
Basrah, and a new spirit of unity permeates Baghdad.

5. The number of civilian deaths due to violence has
fallen by more than 72 percent since July 2007 and continues to
be below the level seen in February 2006, prior to the
Samarra Mosque bombing. Coalition deaths have dropped by more
than 70 percent since last summer as well.

6. Another important trend is the decrease in deaths
attributed to ethno-sectarian violence by 94 percent
nation-wide and 97 percent in the Baghdad security
districts from January 2007 to January 2008. This steady
decline in ethno-sectarian violence is due to both the
increased presence of Iraqi and Coalition forces along
sectarian fault lines and the decreased capacity of the
enemy to re-ignite the cycle of ethno-sectarian violence.

7. Weekly IED attacks are down by more than 50 percent
since last summer, and Coalition deaths from IED incidents
have fallen to their lowest level since July 2006. This
drop in casualties is attributed to the significant
disruption of insurgent networks, the effectiveness of
physical security barriers, and the increasing proportion
of IEDs that are now found and cleared before they can be
used. The rate at which IEDs have been found and cleared
has recently exceeded 55 percent - the highest in nearly
four years.

8. The level of high-profile attacks, such as car bombs
and suicide attacks, remains far below its height a year
ago, although there has been a small increase in such
attacks in the past few months. Nevertheless, the
effectiveness of these attacks is declining due to
improvements in security.

9. Unfortunately, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard
Corps' Qods Force continues to arm, train, and fund illegal
armed groups in Iraq. Iranian-backed groups have launched
numerous attacks on Iraqi and Multi-National Forces and pose a
significant long-term threat to the stability of Iraq. The
recent clashes between criminal militia elements and Iraqi
government forces in Basrah and Baghdad have highlighted Iran's
harmful influence. Iranian-provided, highly lethal aid,
including mortars, rockets and explosively-formed penetrators
(EFPs), to these illegal armed groups kills many innocent people
and undermines the efforts of the Government of Iraq to
establish a stable, secure democracy.

10. Syria is another source for concern, as estimates suggest

STATE 00044332 002 OF 003

that Syria is the entry point for ninety percent of all known
foreign terrorists in Iraq. Syria continues to allow foreign
fighters to transit Syria en route to conducting attacks in
Iraq, and we know that AQI terrorist facilitators continue to
operate inside Syria. Iran and Syria must stop the flow of
weapons and foreign fighters, and their malign interference in

11. Mr. President, 33 countries currently play an
indispensable role in supporting security in Iraq, by
either participating in the Coalition or contributing to
UNAMI operations. Coalition members other than the United
States and Iraq contribute some 10,000 forces to the
Coalition, and another 450 to support UNAMI. Specific
contributions range from El Salvador, which has deployed
nine contingents since 2003 and completed more than 300
reconstruction projects, to Estonia, which has combat
forces conducting counterinsurgency operations. These
forces play an essential role in helping the Iraqi people
achieve success.

12. The Iraqi Security Forces continue to make progress
and develop increased capability and proficiency.

13. More than 540,000 individuals now serve in the Iraqi
Security Forces, an increase of 24,000 since I last
reported to you in January.

14. As of February 1, 2008 -- 123 Iraqi army combat
battalions are conducting operations, an increase of six
battalions since last quarter. Of these combat
battalions, 112 are capable of taking the lead in
operations. During recent operations, some Iraqi units
were found wanting, but overall the Iraqi Security Forces
are quite capable and their performance is solid. Looking
forward, we expect an additional 50,000 Iraqi soldiers and
16 Army and Special Operations battalions to be trained
before the end of the year, as well as more than 23,000 police
and eight National Police battalions.

15. Local citizens, both Sunni and Shi'a, are also
continuing to aid in the fight against extremists. These
91,000 volunteers, known as the Sons of Iraq, are
fostering bottom-up reconciliation by providing Iraqi and
Coalition forces with information on insurgents, securing
critical local infrastructure, and aiding in the discovery
of improvised explosive devices and weapons caches. We
are working closely with the Iraqi government to integrate
many of them into the Iraqi Security Forces, vocational
training programs, and other government jobs.

16. The Coalition continues to transfer responsibility
for security to the Government of Iraq, which currently
has primary security responsibility for nine of the 18
provinces. Many of these provinces have transitioned
smoothly, and although challenges have arisen in others,
we expect the process to move forward, with Anbar and
Qadisiyah provinces transitioning later this year.

17. Turning now to economic issues, the Government of
Iraq's ability to spend its resources, to provide
essential services, and to promote economic development is
progressing. The Iraqi Ministries of Defense and Interior
are steadily improving their ability to execute their
budgets. In 2007 and 2006, both Ministries spent more on
their forces than the United States provided through the
Iraqi Security Forces Fund. We anticipate that Iraq will
spend more than $9 billion on security this year and $11
billion next year. The IMF projects that Iraq's GDP will
grow by seven percent in real terms this year. Core
inflation for 2007 was approximately 12 percent, compared
to more than 32 percent in 2006. The Iraqi dinar remains
strong and the Iraqi Central Bank has begun to bring down
interest rates.

18. At the same time, there has been some political
progress. The passage of the Accountability and Justice
Law, which provides for de-Ba'athification reform; the
Amnesty Law; and the Provincial Powers Law, which calls
for provincial elections by October 1, 2008, were major
steps forward. However, much depends on their successful
implementation. Politically, Iraq's leaders must continue
to cooperate with each other and place national interests
above parochial ones.

19. Steps have also been taken to reintegrate Iraq into
the international community, and specifically, into
regional affairs. On April 21, the Foreign Ministers of
the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Egypt, Jordan, and the
United States met in Bahrain and were joined by Iraqi
Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. We welcome the group's

STATE 00044332 003 OF 003

decision to make Iraq a regular participant in such
meetings. And on April 22, Kuwait hosted the third Expanded
Neighbors ministerial, where Prime Minister Maliki briefed
foreign ministers and senior officials from Iraq's neighbors,
and G8 and P5 member states, on Iraq's progress advancing
political reconciliation, security, and the rule of law. We
welcome the Neighbors participants' decision to hold its next
meeting in Baghdad.

20. Nevertheless, we call upon the international community, and
especially Iraq's neighbors, to do more to reach out to the
Iraqi government and to support its efforts to combat
terrorists, extremists, and militias - regardless of sectarian
affiliation. We look forward to seeing Iraq's neighbors send
high-level officials to - and reopen embassies in - Baghdad.

21. I would like to take a moment to thank UNAMI for its
work in helping to resolve disputed internal boundaries,
dealing with the humanitarian issues facing the Iraqi
people, co-chairing the International Compact for Iraq,
and preparing for provincial elections. The UN continues
to play an important role in regional dialogue, and UNAMI's
contributions to the Expanded Neighbors support
mechanism will help ensure that the process will remain a
valuable regional forum.

22. In the weeks and months ahead, we look forward to
UNAMI's continued involvement in promoting national
reconciliation, the Constitutional Review, economic
reform, and capacity-building. We also encourage UNAMI to
consider expanding its presence to other areas of Iraq.

23. Mr. President, MNF-I and UNAMI must work
to sustain the momentum achieved by the recent
improvements in Iraq's security. Iraq's leaders and its
people must capitalize upon these hard-won gains against
insurgents, extremists, and criminals by assuming
responsibility for achieving the objectives Iraq has set
for itself as an independent and sovereign state. I look
forward to an enhanced commitment by all parties to take
concrete steps toward assisting the government of Iraq in
achieving these goals.

24. If Raised:

- The decision to combat the militia groups in
Basrah demonstrates a commitment by the Shi'a majority
national government to take on criminals and extremists
regardless of sectarian identity.

- Approximately 1,300 Iraqi policemen were
reportedly dismissed by Prime Minister Maliki due to their
performance in Basrah.

© Scoop Media

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