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Cablegate: Guidance for June 13 Unsc Midyear Review of Mnf-I

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OO RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK RUEHTRO
DE RUEHC #3759/01 1650223
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 130213Z JUN 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 2190
INFO IRAQ COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 STATE 063759

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MOPS UNSC IZ
SUBJECT: GUIDANCE FOR JUNE 13 UNSC MIDYEAR REVIEW OF MNF-I

1. USUN is instructed to draw from the following text in
its statement at the June 13 UNSC midyear review of MNF-I.

2. Begin text: I am pleased to report to the U.N. Security
Council on behalf of the Multi-National
Force-Iraq(MNF-I). I would like to welcome Foreign
Minister Zebari and am grateful for his participation here
today. I would also like to thank Special Representative
Staffan de Mistura and the staff of UNAMI for their
dedication and hard work.

3. The security environment in Iraq continues to improve
and all major violence indicators are markedly lower
compared to pre-surge levels. While this progress is
encouraging, challenges still remain and for many Iraqi
families, the effects and threats of continued violence
continue to be a daily concern.

4. The Iraqi Security Forces and MNF-I have made
hard-fought security gains. Today, the Government and the
people of Iraq are working hard to build-upon those gains
in their efforts to achieve a secure, unified, and
democratic Iraq that can govern, defend and sustain
itself.

5. Today I would like to outline five points on behalf of
MNF-I.

6. First -- over the last three months, there has been a
significant increase in Iraqi-led operations.

7. In March 2008, the Iraqi Government launched Operation
Saulat al-Fursan (Note: Arabic for Operation "Charge of
the Knights." End note.) to restore law and order in
Basra. In April and May 2008, the GoI planned and
executed similar operations in Sadr City and Mosul.
Violence levels temporarily increased during these
actions, but despite this spike of activity, total
security incidents have now fallen to their lowest level
in over four years.

8. These operations demonstrated the growing capability
and confidence of Iraqi Security Forces, enabled them and
Coalition forces to seize the initiative from extremists,
and helped to free major population centers from militias
and criminal gangs.

9. Iraqi and Coalition forces achieved these security
gains even as Coalition forces continued to draw down from
surge levels. By the end of May 2008, three U.S. Brigade
Combat Teams, two U.S. Marine battalions and a Marine
Expeditionary Unit had left Iraq without replacement.
Additionally, Australia withdrew its forces from Dhi Qar
province in early June.

10. Second - security incidents and violence continue to
decrease.

11. The number of civilian deaths due to violence has
fallen by 75% since July 2007 and the number of incidents
and Coalition deaths caused by Improvised Explosive
Devices remains on a consistently low six-month trend.

12. Monthly high-profile attacks in Iraq such as car bombs
and suicide attacks decreased in May 2008, falling below
the previous two-year low reached in December 2007. And
high-profile attack explosions for May 2008 are down over
70% from the peak in March 2007. Nonetheless, al Qaeda in
Iraq and other extremists still have the intent and the
capability of carrying out high-profile atrocities as they
did on April 15th when 150 civilians were killed in a
series of attacks throughout Iraq. We remain concerned at
the presence of foreign fighters in Iraq. The Government
of Syria must act to halt the operation of foreign fighter
networks within its territory, which continue to supply
the overwhelming majority of suicide bombers responsible
for the deaths of innocent Iraqis. The Government of Iran
must also cease the training, equipping and financing by
the Iran Republican Guards Corps-Quds Force of violent
Iraqi elements who have challenged the security of Iraq
and the authority of the Iraqi government and Security
Forces. We call on the Government of Iran to follow through
on its pledge to respect the sovereignty of Iraq
and the integrity of its borders, which to date it has not
done.

13. The enemy's use of suicide bombers (including female

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suicide bombers) remains a threat, especially as
population security measures and local opposition to
insurgents in some provinces make effective targeting
using suicide vehicle-borne IEDs more difficult. The
number of person-borne IED incidents increased from
October 2007 to February 2008, before declining in March
and April 2008.

14. The number of deaths due to ethno-sectarian violence
is now at the lowest level in the past several years,
illustrating the enemy's inability to re-ignite the cycle
of ethno-sectarian violence. During the last two weeks of
May 2008, there were no confirmed ethno-sectarian deaths
in Baghdad. In April and May 2008, there were 17 and 11
deaths, respectively, in the Baghdad Security Districts.
This is a remarkable improvement when compared to the over
1,600 ethno-sectarian deaths in December 2006.

15. Third - more than 30 countries currently play a
critical role in enhancing security in Iraq, whether by
participating as a Coalition member, supporting the NATO
Training Mission, or contributing to UNAMI operations.

16. Coalition members other than the United States
contribute some 10,000 forces to the Coalition, and
another 450 personnel to support UNAMI. Every
contributor, large and small, from the British in the
southeast to the Italian Carabinieri police trainers
providing paramilitary expertise to the Iraqi National
Police, from the Mongolians who are providing camp security
to the Georgians whose many missions include protecting UNAMI
staff members -
each plays a vital role in enabling the Government of Iraq
to assume full responsibility for the defense and security
of its people.

17. Fourth - Iraqi Security Forces continue to make
significant progress and develop increased capability and
proficiency.

18. More than 559,000 personnel now serve in the Iraqi
Security Forces -- an increase of over 19,000 personnel
since I last reported to you in April. As of May 1, 2008,
147 Iraqi Army combat battalions are conducting operations
- an increase of 24 combat battalions since my last
report. Another eight battalions are currently in force
generation, and MNF-I plans an additional 14 for force
generation in 2008. Four Special Operations battalions
are capable of conducting operations with minimal
Coalition support and another two are in force
generation.

19. Among the formed Iraqi Army combat battalions, 65% are
rated as not only being able to take the lead in
operations, but also being able to plan, execute and
sustain operations with minimal or no assistance from
Coalition forces. Since March 2008, nine additional
battalions have improved their proficiency and can now
conduct counterinsurgency operations with Coalition
support.

20. Both the Iraqi Air Force and the Iraqi Navy are
gaining proficiency as well. Over the past nine months,
the Iraqi Air Force sortie rate has increased by almost
750%, with the Iraqi Air Force flying over 5,000 sorties
so far this year. In that same nine-month period, the
number of Iraqi Navy patrols has grown by approximately
250% with an average of 35 patrols per week now conducted
in Iraqi territorial waters.

21. The Iraqi National Police also continues to increase
its proficiency. There are now 44 National Police
battalions authorized, including the National Emergency
Response Unit. And of those, 11 battalions are capable of
planning, executing and sustaining operations with
Coalition support.

22. Fifth - the Coalition continues to transfer
responsibility for security to the Government of Iraq. The
United States and Iraqi governments are now in the process
of negotiating a long-term relationship which will
recognize this transition and the increasing ability of
Iraqi Security Forces to assume greater responsibility for
security and stability.

23. Currently, half of Iraq's 18 provinces are under
Provincial Iraqi Control (PIC) and security responsibility
for Anbar and Qadisiyah Provinces are scheduled to
transition to Iraqi control in June and July 2008,
respectively. This will bring the total number of
provinces for which the GoI has lead security

STATE 00063759 003 OF 003


responsibility to 11 of 18 provinces.

24. The ability of the Iraqi Security Forces to support
and sustain fielded forces is also improving. During
recent and ongoing events in Basrah, Mosul and Sadr City,
the ISF have demonstrated their capability to conduct
simultaneous extensive operations in three parts of the
country.

Conclusion

25. Though the recent improvements in the security
situation across Iraq are significant, the Iraqi
Government, MNF-I, NATO, the international community, and
UNAMI will have to take deliberate measures to sustain
these gains. These measures include the development and
employment of a sustained, robust security posture;
delivery of humanitarian assistance and essential services
to all the citizens of Iraq; continued improvement in
budget execution that will advance Iraqi responsibility
for reconstruction and development; the generation of
sustainable employment; and continuing progress on
political reconciliation. Free and fair provincial
elections will also be important in facilitating
reconciliation and the formation of representative
provincial governments. We look forward to these elections
taking place later this year. Together, we can help Iraq
achieve success. End text.
RICE

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