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Cablegate: Canada's Post-Conflict Stabilization And

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O 131806Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7846
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RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 0442
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 OTTAWA 000653

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR S/CRS AND WHA/CAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EAID PINS KDEM KJUS MCAP PGOV CA
SUBJECT: CANADA'S POST-CONFLICT STABILIZATION AND
RECONSTRUCTION CAPABILITY


1. (SBU) Summary: Canada's "Stabilization and Reconstruction
Task Force" (START) has become a key component of its foreign
affairs architecture. Its Ottawa headquarters works on
policy formulation, while inter-agency teams now operate in
Haiti, Uganda, Colombia, and Kandahar -- and soon also in
Islamabad -- on missions including de-mining, training of
police and peacekeepers, support to multilateral
peace-enforcement missions, and governance capacity-building.
START's staff greatly values close consultations with its
U.S. counterpart and expressed particular interest in an
on-going dialogue on policy development for intervention
thresholds in failed and fragile states, new approaches to
training for field officers, and the justice rapid response
concept, as well as discussions of specific countries where
we are both working. End Summary.

START FINDS ITS FOOTING
-----------------------

2. (SBU) Now well into its third year of operations, the
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's START
has established itself as an important component in Canada's
foreign affairs architecture and deployment. It brings a
coordinated approach to managing Canada's participation in
reconstruction and stabilization activities worldwide.
START's twin objectives remain a mix of policy formulation
and operations:

-- to ensure timely, coordinated, and effective policy
strategies and operational responses by Canada to natural and
human-made crises that require whole-of-government action;
and,

-- to plan and deliver coherent and effective conflict
prevention, crisis response, and stabilization initiatives in
fragile states and states in transition in which Canada has
humanitarian or political interests.

3. (SBU) Contrary to earlier doubts that START could survive
bureaucratic re-alignments at DFAIT under the "new"
Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper
since 2006, START officials now express confidence that
policy-makers recognize that START has more than proven its
worth and is indeed an increasingly valuable resource. They
admit, however, START continues to struggle with funding,
personnel, and its place in the bureaucracy (laments fairly
common throughout DFAIT).

4. (SBU) In April, however, the Treasury Board completed a
review of START operations and blessed a transformation to
multi-year funding, which should help to increase START's
future viability and enhance its ability to plan. Its
current funding is part of a larger "Global Peace and
Security Fund" (GPSF), which also underwrites a "Global Peace
and Security Program," a "Global Peace Operations Program,"
and a "Glyn Berry Program" (named for the Canadian diplomat
killed in Afghanistan in 2006) to support START field
operations, peace operations, some related G-8 commitments,
and democratization. Current funding for START is C$135
million (approximately equivalent in USD), of which C$35
million goes to programs in Afghanistan, but START's share of
the pie could more than double in coming years.

5. (SBU) START currently has 73 members in its Ottawa
Q5. (SBU) START currently has 73 members in its Ottawa
headquarters at DFAIT, as well as officers in Haiti, Uganda,
Colombia, and Kandahar. Canada does not have an equivalent
to the USG's Active Response Corps, however, so it either
sends its Ottawa-based DFAIT officers on assignment (Haiti,
Uganda, Afghanistan, and -- soon -- Islamabad), directly
hires individuals for a specific task (Colombia), or pays for
secondments from other agencies (many of the positions in
Kandahar). START has developed a roster of DFAIT officers
who have post-conflict reconstruction skills and may be
interested in field deployment, but START has no system for
directly recruiting those officers, other than an appeal for
volunteers.

6. (SBU) START has now developed several coordination models

OTTAWA 00000653 002 OF 003


for its work in the field:

-- START can act as a catalyst or convenor, taking the lead
in bringing together all relevant geographic and functional
partners within DFAIT and throughout the Canadian government
to work on the development of the fragile states analytical
framework;
-- START can co-lead crisis management efforts with
geographic counterparts, as in the case for most natural
disasters and in Haiti and Sudan, providing leadership
drawing on experience across emergencies and peace
operations, while DFAIT's regional bureaus provide expertise
and vision regarding Canada's long-term bilateral
relationship and links to various ethnic Diaspora in Canada;
-- START can provide targeted policy and program support
under the leadership of a country-specific DFAIT division, as
in the case of Afghanistan;
-- START can work with DFAIT's Consular Affairs bureau to
respond to unique emergency situations, such as the 2006
Lebanon evacuation, a complex operation that involved
intelligence, coordination with military units, and
large-scale resource allocations.

FOCUS ON AFGHANISTAN
--------------------

7. (SBU) With Afghanistan as Canada's number one foreign
policy priority, START provides funding to the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police to run a police training program in Kandahar,
while directly running a justice and corrections initiative.
START has also been very involved in Canada's G-8 initiative
to improve border control along the Afghan-Pakistani frontier
(which DFAIT's South Asia Division had initially run; it
continues to manage the G-8 diplomatic offensive), in close
coordination with our own Border Management Task Force in
Kabul. START is taking on some of the programmatic aspects
of this initiative, such as placing dog teams and scanners in
Spin Boldak and other southern border posts. It will soon
put an officer in Islamabad to help coordinate projects with
Pakistan. Separately, the Canadian International Development
Agency (CIDA) funds and runs more conventional programs on
health, education, and infrastructure. Initially uneasy
competition between CIDA and START in Afghanistan (and
elsewhere) have now evolved into a recognition of a genuine
complementarity in their respective foci, according to START
officials.

OTHER ACTIVITIES
----------------

8. (SBU) Other START projects over the past year have
included:

-- refurbishing the Sarpoza Prison and training correctional
personnel in Afghanistan;
-- sending police advisors and building an infrastructure to
improve the Haitian National Police Inspector General's
office;
-- programs to improve Haiti's ability to combat human
trafficking;
-- support for the integrated community-based landmine risk
education and victim assistance program in Uganda;
-- initial funding and technical advice for e-learning for
African peacekeepers from 50 African countries;
-- providing helicopters, planes, aviation support fuel, and
technical advisors in support of the AU mission in Darfur;
and,
-- coordinating Canada's assistance to Peru in the wake of
Q-- coordinating Canada's assistance to Peru in the wake of
the August 2007 earthquake.

AREAS FOR FURTHER COLLABORATION
-------------------------------

9. (SBU) On the issue of post-conflict reconstruction, Canada
recognizes explicit benefits from showing that its
development of infrastructure and policies builds on the
experiences of key partners. START officials cite to the
Treasury Board Canada's close collaboration with like-minded

OTTAWA 00000653 003 OF 003


allies as an effective argument for increased funding. START
officials have expressed interest in closer coordination --
bilaterally, trilaterally also with Great Britain, and/or on
a G-8 basis on:

-- policy development and early warning systems on failed and
fragile states;

-- sharing "best practices" on training, notably the U.S.
training model for pre-deployment of post-conflict
reconstruction personnel;

-- Justice Rapid Response;

-- further country specific work, such as on Haiti and Sudan;

-- "lessons learned" based on U.S. analyses of the
architecture for post-conflict reconstruction, e.g. a PRT
playbook developed by the U.S. Army Center for Lessons
Learned.

Visit Canada,s Economy and Environment Forum at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/can ada

WILKINS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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