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Cablegate: Afghanistan - Jcmb Viii Welcomes Srsg Kai Eide,

VZCZCXRO1656
PP RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #1709/01 1900902
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 080902Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4643
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC 0650
RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 001709

DEPT FOR SCA/FO, SCA/RA, AND SCA/A
DEPT PASS AID/ANE
DEPT PASS USTR FOR GERBER AND KLEIN
DEPT PASS OPIC FOR ZAHNISER
DEPT PASS TDA FOR STEIN AND GREENIP
CENTCOM FOR CSTC-A
NSC FOR JWOOD
TREASURY FOR LMCDONALD, ABAUKOL, BDAHL, AND MNUGENT
OSD FOR SHIVERS
COMMERCE FOR DEES, CHOPPIN, AND FONOVICH

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON PREL PHUM ENRG EAIR AF
SUBJECT: AFGHANISTAN - JCMB VIII welcomes SRSG Kai Eide,
restructures JCMB, hears GIRoA Plans for ANDS Implementation and ANA
Increase

1. Summary. On July 6, the eighth meeting of the Joint Coordination
and Monitoring Board (JCMB-VIII) welcomed the co-chairmanship of Kai
Eide, the newly-arrived Special Representative of the UN Secretary
General. Minister of Finance (MOF) Ahady announced the Government
of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) plan for Afghanistan
National Development Strategy (ANDS) implementation, in which the
MOF will budget for ANDS and coordinate among ministries and the
Ministry of Economy will assess projects and monitor implementation.
To support implementation of the ANDS, Eide proposed restructuring
the JCMB into three standing committees that would create ad hoc
task forces to tackle specific problems. In addition, UNAMA will
increase its staff to better coordinate International Community (IC)
assistance. Minister of Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak, with the
support of the U.S., called for the JCMB in autumn to approve an
increase in the ANA authorized strength from 80,000 to 122,000
troops. End summary.

Opening Statements and Themes

2. On July 6, JCMB Co-Chairs, Professor Ishaq Nadiri, GIRoA Senior
Economic Advisor to President Karzai, and Ambassador Kai Eide, the
Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) and the head
of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA),
opened JCMB VIII, which followed on the successful Afghanistan
Support Conference in Paris, France, on June 12. Eide said that the
International Community (IC) cannot continue "business as usual on
automatic pilot" or it risks losing the support of the Afghan
people. Building on the Paris Declaration, the IC needs to increase
aid effectiveness. Nadiri said that President Karzai has formed a
group under his leadership to implement the commitments that the
GIRoA made at Paris, such as fighting corruption with a new draft
anti-corruption law approved by the Afghan cabinet that morning for
submission to parliament.

ANDS Implementation Structures

3. In announcing new GIRoA implementation structures, Minister of
Finance (MOF) Anwar ul-haq Ahady renewed GIRoA commitments made at
Paris to increase revenue, support market economy institutions, and
fight corruption. Under the leadership of the Cabinet Oversight
Committee (OSC), composed of the Senior Economic Advisor and seven
economic ministers. MOF will integrate ANDS priorities with the
GIRoA budget, while the Ministry of Economy (MOE) will evaluate
individual projects and monitor implementation. All delegations
supported a strong role for the MOF in the ANDS implementation
process.

UNAMA's Proposals for JCMB Strengthening

4. Turning to the role of UNAMA and the task of strengthening the
JCMB's support for ANDS implementation, Eide outlined a new JCMB
structure. Replacing the JMCB's quarterly meetings and extensive
consultative committee and working groups would be three new
standing committees aligned with the Afghan Compact's three pillars
of security, governance, and economic development. The only
permanent standing committee members would be the co-chairs, with
UNAMA representing the IC. Depending on the issue, the co-chairs
would select members for an ad hoc task force for rapid and
flexible, delivery-oriented decisions, a structure described as
"variable geometry." Most delegations supported this new structure,
while Germany expressed concern about exclusivity and suggested that
only the JCMB plenum could make decisions. Supported by the
Canadian Ambassador, who distinguished between "implementing
countries," and only "interested countries," Eide defended the
proposed structure as avoiding the slowness that characterized the
old rigid structure. Eide also announced that UNAMA would increase
its staff to better support IC assistance coordination.

5. During the discussion, delegations warmly welcomed GIRoA's pledge

KABUL 00001709 002 OF 002


of renewed anti-corruption efforts. In response to some delegations
pointing out that the Compact Benchmarks and the ANDS timeline were
not synchronized, Nadiri committed the GIRoA staff to present an
integrated report to the next JCMB meeting. Ambassador Wood called
for a strong MOF role in ANDS implementation with clear priorities,
not just a series of projects.

Follow Up to Paris Declaration Commitments

6. Following up on MOF Ahadi's opening remarks, Dr. Fahim Wardak on
Karzai's Palace staff detailed President Karzai's recent decision to
set up a new Palace structure for fulfilling Paris Declaration
commitments and implementing the ANDS. A small technical task force
is working on strengthening democracy, fighting corruption, and
promoting investment in infrastructure.

ANA to Propose Increase to 122,000

7. Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak provided a compelling
rationale for increasing the ANA authorized strength from 80,000 to
122,000 (with an additional training pool) over the years to 2012.
The Taliban were stronger, better trained and better equipped than
expected. A larger ANA would allow them to not just "clear"
territory of Taliban, but to "hold and build" as well.

8. Ambassador Wood called the ANA a success story, noting that it
has exceeded its recruitment, training and performance goals. He
pointed to its expulsion of the Taliban from the Arghandab valley
near Kandahar as an example of its rapid growth in capabilities.
The goal is to develop the ANA into an organization able to sustain
Afghanistan's own defense. The World Bank representative noted that
while increasing the ANA would have budget implications, a secure
environment is necessary for economic development. The Indian
ambassador also supported ANA expansion. Kai Eide closed the
discussion by promising an extended discussion of ANA expansion in
autumn 2008 in the JCMB format.


WOOD

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