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Cablegate: Dutch Contributions in Afghanistan

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OO RUEHPW
DE RUEHBUL #1415/01 1621134
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 101134Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4324
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KABUL 001415

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA/FO, SCA/A
PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/DCHA/DG
NSC FOR JWOOD
OSD FOR SHIVERS
CG CJTF-101, POLAD, JICCENT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR PHUM PREL AF NL
SUBJECT: DUTCH CONTRIBUTIONS IN AFGHANISTAN

1. (SBU) Summary: The Dutch are shouldering a heavy burden as the
lead nation in Uruzgan, one of the most underdeveloped provinces in
Afghanistan. There are almost daily attacks on ISAF forces and
civilians by the Taliban, often resulting in serious injuries or
death. The Dutch focus on supporting and promoting reconstruction
efforts by the Afghan government and NGOs as well as training and
monitoring of Afghan security forces, with the aim of ensuring
effective control by the Afghan army and police. Their mission is
that of stabilization and support aimed at transferring
responsibility to Afghans, inherently linking their security and
development objectives. The Dutch motto remains: "reconstruction
where possible, military action where necessary."

Security Contributions
------------------------------

2. (U) The Netherlands has been the lead nation in Uruzgan since
August 1, 2006, with Australia as a junior partner. On November 30,
2007, two-thirds of the Dutch parliament supported the decision to
retain the main responsibility for supporting the Afghan authorities
in Uruzgan, including military, reconstruction, and governance
assistance, until August 1, 2010. Over 1,300 of the 1,770 troops
that the Netherlands currently contributes to ISAF are based in
Uruzgan, with the rest in Kabul and Kandahar. Dutch troops serve
six-month tours of duty. After August 2008 France, Czech Republic,
and Slovakia will deploy troops in Uruzgan, enabling the Dutch to
reduce the number of their troops in Uruzgan to approximately
1,000-1,100.

3. (U) The Netherlands military presence in Uruzgan consists of a
Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), a Battle Group, and logistical
support, divided between the two bases in Tarin Kowt and Deh Rawod
(Western Uruzgan). The Netherlands also provides two Operational
Mentoring and Liaison Teams (OMLTs) to help train and guide the
Afghan army; after August 2008 the Dutch OMLTs will be replaced by
Hungarian and Slovakian OMLTs. They deployed police trainers in
Uruzgan, and they will continue to contribute five Apache combat
helicopters and four F-16 fighter planes to ISAF. Starting November
1, 2008 the Netherlands will provide the commander of ISAF's
Regional Command South, General De Kruif. The Dutch-led PRT is
actively engaged in training, mentoring, and equipping Afghan
National Police (ANP) in coordination with CSTC-A's police training
and mentoring program. In April, a Dutch delegation to Kabul
pledged up to five Police Mentoring Teams (PMTs) to support CSTC-A
training efforts for Uruzgan police. Task Force Uruzgan (TFU) has
established a fourth line of operations, "credible task force," to
ensure freedom of movement and action for the TFU forces and to gain
the trust and confidence of the local population, enabling further
separation from the insurgency. Since the start of the Dutch
mission on August 1, 2006, a total of 16 Dutch soldiers have been
killed in Afghanistan, including the son of General van Uhm, the
Chief of Defence of the Netherlands.

Nationwide Reconstruction and Development Contributions
--------------------------------------------- ---------

4. (U) Dutch development priorities are: health, education,
infrastructure, rural development (which includes alternative
livelihoods for poppy growers), gender, human rights, and conflict
transformation. The Netherlands has disbursed more than Euros 500
million in official development assistance to Afghanistan since
2001. The Netherlands is the fifth largest donor to the Afghan
Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), with Euros 242 million since 2002.
In 2008 the Netherlands will again contribute Euros 25 million to
the ARTF in addition to contributions to national programs,
including Euros 4.07 million to the Education Quality Improvement
Project (EQUIP) for 2 years and Euros 6.3 million to Microfinance
Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA) for three years.
The Netherlands is also one of the main donors to the Law and Order
Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA), contributing Euros 10 million in
2007. The Dutch fund a range of nationwide projects, including
Euros 3 million for legal sector development, with a focus on
transitional justice, detention, and women's rights; Euros 2.3
million for World Food Program; Euros 3 million for UNHCR to support
the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs); Euros 0.5 million
to UNICEF for health and education; Euros 2 million to UN Mine
Action Services for demining and awareness; Euros 1.4 million to
HALO trust for demining; and Euros 1 million to the International

KABUL 00001415 002 OF 003


Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Uruzgan Development Contributions
-----------------------------------

5. (U) The Netherlands also has a significant civilian component in
Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan; they plan to expand to 13 diplomats and
development staff by August 2008. The TFU management board,
consisting of the Commander of TFU and the Civilian Representative,
make the 3D decisions (diplomacy, defence, and development) for the
Dutch interventions in Uruzgan. The Dutch have funded more than
Euros 75 million in Uruzgan since August 1, 2006.

6. (U) Education: The Dutch are funding EQUIP to work specifically
in Uruzgan for Euros 2.5 million. EQUIP, Afghanistan's largest
education initiative, operates through the extensive involvement of
community members. Elected Parent-Teacher Associations and School
Management Committees are trained in project and budget management;
they are then responsible for identifying community education needs,
developing proposals, and overseeing the implementation. The Dutch
also give many local NGOs smaller grants for education development
in Uruzgan. For example, they have a Euros 150,000 grant for the
protection of vulnerable children, a teachers' hygiene course, and
radio programs. Due to the extreme lack of teachers in Uruzgan, the
Dutch are also starting a teacher training course, with a 100
scholarships for a one-to-two year training program in India. The
recipients must make a commitment to teach in Uruzgan for
three-to-five years after they complete the training.

7. (U) Healthcare: The Dutch gave Euros 2.3 million over two years
to support the Uruzgan provincial Ministry of Health office's
efforts to provide a basic health package to Uruzgan's inhabitants,
including community health centers, training for healthcare workers,
purchasing basic pharmaceuticals, training midwives, and training
boys as nurses. The Dutch also have many smaller health projects
through local NGOs.

8. (SBU) Rural Development: The Dutch are giving the Ministry of
Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) in Uruzgan Euros 5
million for the construction of infrastructure (roads, irrigation
systems, etc). However, the MRRD's absorptive capacity is very low
and this project is facing many problems. The Dutch are also
utilizing a public-private partnership to introduce saffron
cultivation in Uruzgan, where the growing conditions are optimal.
The private Dutch company provides mentors for 120 farmers and also
guarantees that it will buy back the saffron at world prices, if the
farmers cannot sell it. The Dutch also give several local NGOs
small grants, including a Euros 1 million grant for developing
capacity to farm fruit trees and a Euros 2 million grant for very
small scale infrastructure development, including rural roads,
wells, and building shelters where homes have been destroyed.

9. (U) Establishing Implementing Partners: The Dutch are giving
GTZ, the German equivalent of USAID, Euros 34 million over three
years to establish an office in Tarin Kowt. GTZ will focus on
building a road from Tarin Kowt to Chora, capacity building of the
provincial government, and assessing the agricultural chain of
production. The Dutch gave the UN Food and Agricultural
Organization Euros 2.4 million to launch a project to help a
thousand farmers in Tarin Kowt and Chora. They will be provided with
seeds, fertilizer, and tools; training in technical aspects of
farming; and taught how to sell their products to their best
advantage. The Dutch gave the Microfinance Investment Support
Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA) Euros 6.3 million to establish an
office in Tarin Kowt and expand their work into Uruzgan.

10. (U) Information and Access: The Dutch support Radio Nava, which
reaches a wide range of listeners across Uruzgan in both Dari and
Pashto. They also support a radio drama series and public service
announcements raising drug awareness. There is currently no
civilian airport in Uruzgan, which greatly hinders the mobility of
government officials as well as NGO and IO staff. The Dutch are
working with a humanitarian air service to develop a fee-based
charter system.

11. (U) Security Structure: The Dutch are giving the MOI and UNODC
Euros 5.2 million to improve the security structure in Uruzgan,
including prisons and police and army resources and training.

KABUL 00001415 003 OF 003

Baghlan Development Contributions
------------------------------------

12. (U) After the Hungarians took over the Baghlan PRT the Dutch
began slowly phasing out their Baghlan-speific projects; however,
they still have Euros 2 million to support EQUIP education
programming and Euros 3 million to Aga Khan to implement
agricultural projects.

DELL

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