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Cablegate: Dasd Getz Visit to Prague

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PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHPG #0401/01 1780653
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 260653Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0445
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0098

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PRAGUE 000401

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DOD PASS TO GETZ AND OSD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR MASS NATO AF EZ EUN
SUBJECT: DASD GETZ VISIT TO PRAGUE

1. (SBU) Summary: On June 9 2008, Acting Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense Colleen Getz visited Prague for meetings
with Czech MoD and MFA officials to discuss ongoing and
future Czech contributions to coalitions in Afghanistan and
Iraq. The meeting provided a good opportunity to review the
Czech deployments, progress of the Logar PRT, and future
plans. The Czechs also discussed with A/DASD Getz a number
of measures they are considering to address the deteriorating
security situation in Afghanistan's Logar Province. End
Summary.

--------------------------------------------- -----------
Discussion with MoD on Afghanistan and Iraq
--------------------------------------------- -----------

2. (SBU) During meetings at Czech MoD, A/DASD Getz met with
first Deputy Minister of Defense Bartak, Chief of Czech
Military Intelligence and Special Operations Forces MG
Palenik, Czech General Staff J3 BG Balint, and MoD Policy and
Strategy Division Deputy Director Jahoda. The Czechs
provided a survey of current and planned contributions to
Afghanistan stressing their intention to concentrate Czech
resources on two missions: the Czech PRT in Logar and the
SOF deployment under OEF. Bartak noted that the 100-person
Czech military field hospital located at the Kabul
International Airport (KAIA) would redeploy by the end of
2008, while a small Czech Operational Mentoring and Liaison
Team (OMLT) working with the Afghanistan Air Corps and a
small national support element and NBC monitoring team will
remain based at KAIA. Repeated deployments by some units
like the Czech military hospital had stressed many low
density Military Occupational Specialties and would pose a
limiting factor in the future. Turning to 2009, Bartak noted
the Czechs intended to deploy three Mi-171 helicopters to
Regional Command-East (RC-E), but stated that securing pilots
with the appropriate pre-deployment training as well as
performing the required technical upgrades on the helicopters
to be deployed was proving to be a sizable challenge.

3. (SBU) Bartak briefed A/DASD Getz on Czech concerns over
the deteriorating security situation in the Logar Province.
Bartak emphasized that following the recent deaths of two
Czech soldiers, and the wounding of several others, the Czech
government must show that is taking measures to adjust and
improve the security of the PRT. The government,s concerns
are prompting the Czechs to deploy more combat forces to the
province including the imminent planned deployment of a
20-man special MP unit that will be moved from Helmand to
Logar and, by early 2009, an airborne company. The Czechs
noted that they would require U.S. theater airlift support to
transport this unit from Helmand to KAIA for onward ground
transfer to Logar. Bartak also inquired about how best to
move forward with the re-deployment of Czech civilian police
trainers from the north to Logar, specifically requesting
assistance in determining what kind of technical support
agreement would be required to allow the reimbursement by
EUPOL to RC-E for life support costs at Logar.

4. (SBU) Citing a greatly increased IED threat in Logar and
a slew of mechanical problems with their recently acquired
fleet of 26 M1114 up-armored Humvees, the Czechs are
grappling with determining what vehicles would be best suited
for use by the Czech PRT. The Czech Government has approved
an accelerated acquisition effort to identify and purchase
new MRAP-like vehicles, but in the near term the Czechs have
requested U.S. assistance in providing better protection to
their personnel. Any new Czech armored vehicles, once
acquired, will require U.S.-compatible radios and other
equipment, which the Czechs are willing to purchase
commercially, but may need U.S. assistance in this process.

5. (SBU) A/DASD Getz welcomed the Czech,s intentions to
deploy more forces but noted that as Czech deployments
increase so would the coordination and planning challenges
they would face. Getz emphasized the need for a systematic
and disciplined approach to communication, coordination, and
issue tracking. She also noted that due to high demand there
were no quick solutions with regard to purchasing U.S.
tactical radios. However, A/DASD Getz suggested that the
Czech Senior National Representative (SNR) in Tampa should
maintain an active dialogue with the appropriate CENTCOM
staff elements regarding their perceived equipment
shortfalls.

6. (SBU) Concerning Iraq, the Czechs noted that they are in
the process of re-deploying 100 soldiers from Basra back to
the Czech Republic, while at the same time sending a
detachment of T-72 trainers to assist in the training of

PRAGUE 00000401 002 OF 002


Iraqi military personnel at Taji under MNSTC-I. Deputy
Minister Bartak noted that there is a possibility that the
Czechs would offer to expand the size of their training
mission at Taji in 2009.

---------------------------------------------
MFA Focuses on Afghanistan PRT
---------------------------------------------

7. (SBU) A/DASD Getz also met with the Deputy Director of
the Security Policy Department at the Czech MFA, Petr
Chalupecky. Chalupecky and the MFA,s PRT senior
coordinator, Ester Lauferova, briefed Getz on current
reconstruction activities. According to Lauferova, the Logar
PRT has been able to achieve a number of successes, despite
the increased security challenges that are hindering the
ability of the Czech PRT to leave its Forward Operating Base.
The PRT,s original plans of conducting at least three
missions per day have been revised downward given the
worsening security environment. For the same reason, the
Czechs have delayed plans to deploy two additional civilian
reconstruction experts. Nevertheless, in its three months of
operation, the Czech PRT conducted visits to all of Logar
province,s seven districts, including the remote and
mountainous district of Azara. The Czech PRT is working on
increasing ties with an Afghanistan National Army unit
recently deployed to Logar. They also look forward to the
deployment of the Czech EUPOL team in order to strengthen
their outreach to the districts, police units.

8. (SBU) Chalupecky and Lauferova noted that the Czech PRT
is focusing on three key areas: education, public health,
and irrigation. In all their projects, the Czechs want to
ensure a maximum level of local Afghanistan ownership through
the district shura rather than the provincial government.
Instead of building new facilities, the Czechs are working to
make existing facilities more effective. They have initially
partnered with seven schools, but recently, two girls,
schools receiving western aid in Logar have been destroyed by
arson attacks. The PRT is also implementing an aquifer
management project that leverages local tribal methods to
increase efficiency.

9. (SBU) COMMENT: The Czech Republic has only recently
stepped into the role of a &lead-nation8 with its
deployment of the Czech PRT to Logar in March 2008. That
effort has thus far been successful. However, as the
willingness of the Czechs to deploy more forces to
Afghanistan has increased, so too have the coordination and
planning challenges they face. The Czechs are relatively new
to this and are still learning. Visits such as the one of
A/DASD Getz can help the Czechs navigate the coordination
processes in place and, in the process, become more effective
partners for the United States. The Czechs, success as a
PRT leader would prepare them for other missions in the
future. Therefore, any assistance the USG can provide the
Czechs in this mission is an investment that will likely pay
off in future missions. End comment.
Graber

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