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Cablegate: Diversion Request for Case Ke-B-Uad

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DE RUEHNR #1809/01 2101027
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 281027Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6582
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCJ2/CCJ3/CCJ5//
RHMFIUU/CDR USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA
RHMFIUU/CDRUSASAC FT BELVOIR VA
RHMFIUU/CDRUSASAC NEW CUMBERLAND PA
RHMFIUU/COMSOCCENT MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFIUU/COMSOCCENT MACDILL AFB FL//SOJ2/
RUEASRA/USARCENT FT MCPHERSON GA//INTEL//
RHMFISS/CDRUSASETAF VICENZA
RUFTNAB/COMUSNAVCENT
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC

UNCLAS NAIROBI 001809

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/E, PM/RSAT ARCHETTO


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETTC MASS PARM PREL KE XW
SUBJECT: DIVERSION REQUEST FOR CASE KE-B-UAD

REFERENCE: Nairobi 1449

1. The following letter was sent to the Director of Strategy,
Plans and Policy at U.S. Central Command, the U.S. Army Security
Assistance Command, and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency
by COL David McNevin, the U.S. Defense Representative to Kenya.
It is a follow up of reftel country team assessment that
requested expedited approval for the sale of small arms to the
Kenyan Army. Begin text:

Kenya-US Liaison Office (KUSLO), on behalf of the Country Team,
Nairobi, Kenya requests diversion of assets from FMS cases to
expedite delivery of M-16A4 and M-4A1 weapon systems. The Chief
of the General Staff, General Jeremiah Kianga, has personally
made the request to the KUSLO several times as a matter of great
urgency.

The Country Team supports the Kenyan Ministry of Defense's
assessment that they urgently require new individual weapon
systems due to the notoriously unreliable nature of their
current weapons systems. The current weapons do not meet the
military's needs in defending Kenyan borders against a host of
transnational threats. The Country Team Assessment message
further elaborates the requirement for expedited procurement
based upon the strategic environment.

Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania have all
been sources of tension in the past for the Government of Kenya
(GOK). Most pressing is the threat posed from Somalia'last
month, suspected terrorist operatives tried to infiltrate the
border with large amounts of money and weapons. They were
arrested and subsequently freed by an armed group that moved
back into Somalia. This is but one example of the threat posed
by the long porous borders with Somalia and is a central reason
for concern to both the GOK and the US Government (USG).
Through this border came the explosives that destroyed the US
Embassies in both Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the attempted
shoot-down of an Israeli jet, and the Kikambala bomb which
killed dozens at a coastal hotel in 2002.

US forces operate daily in conjunction with Kenyan forces in
order to counter regional terrorism in North East Africa. As
such, the threats to Kenyan and US interests in North East
Africa are well known. Kenya's desire to rapidly acquire modern
US-manufactured individual weapons directly ties into current
and future bilateral training. Obtaining a minimum of 500-600,
or more, M16A4s/M4A1s (a mix thereof) by January 2009 will
enable a seamless fielding and transition by US forces of the
weapon system to key Kenyan units bound for border security
missions. Weapons fielding and training are essential for
building force interoperability and host nation capacity during
this time.

The Chief of the General Staff of the Kenyan Armed forces
personally requested that the US government expedite the initial
shipment of the 9,761 M16A4/M4A1 weapons, which they agreed to
purchase on 30 June 2008, to arrive by January 2009 to
facilitate integration into bilateral training.

Modernizing the Kenyan military by training and equipping their
army is critical toward the US government's counter terrorism
and regional stabilization goals for Eastern Africa.
Additionally, the sooner the modernization process begins, the
sooner the GOK can move towards full integration into future US
and NATO led peacekeeping missions on the Continent. These
goals were outlined in last year's 1206 and FMF proposals, for
which Kenya has received funding and support from the Department
of State and the Department of Defense, respectively.

Moving the Kenyan military and ultimately all Kenyan security
forces to the M-16 and M-4 platforms has other positive, long-
range effects. Adoption of the weapon systems may lead to in-
country manufacturing capability with proper licensing
agreements in place, which could influence purchasing decisions
of neighboring countries. This has the potential to lead to
significant US sales over the next 15 years in the region.
Also, the US will gain significant leverage against regional
black market small arms and 7.62mm ammunition proliferation due
to the control of the production of dissimilar ammunition types
by the GOK. By reducing easy access to ammunition for the
ubiquitous AK-47, there is the potential to reduce internally
committed violence and crime.

The Kenyans have expressed to us that, as much as they prefer
US-manufactured equipment, any significant delay in
manufacturing or delivering these items would force them to
reconsider subsequent purchases from USG sources. We do not
want the Kenyans to re-initiate their tender with other nations
to obtain small arms due to perceived delays in the US
procurement process.

Building the capacity of Kenyan forces to defend their borders
is a lynch-pin of the Mission Strategic Plan. The importance of
delivering enough weapons to meet the minimum requirements to
support operations and bilateral training can not be
understated.

Addressees are encouraged to forward this memorandum to the
appropriate agencies for further action.
DAVID T. McNEVIN
COL, USA/FAO
CHIEF, KUSLO and UNITED STATES
DEFENSE REPRESENTATIVE
End Text.
SLUTZ
SUBJECT: Diversion Request for Case KE-B-UAD (Cont.) 15 July 2008


KENYA - UNITED STATES LIAISON OFFICE
P.O. BOX 606
VILLAGE MARKET
00621 NAIROBI, KENYA

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