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Cablegate: North Atlantic Council Readout - July 22, 2008

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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 05 USNATO 000258

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/23/2018
TAGS: NATO PREL AF
SUBJECT: NORTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL READOUT - JULY 22, 2008

Classified By: CDA Joseph P. Stein for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C/NF) Summary from the NAC Meeting:
-- Farewell to the Permanent Representative from France: In
his farewell address to the NAC, departing French PermRep
Richard Duque said the greatest threat facing the Alliance
was the danger of being pulled into disunity, particularly on
the issue of Russia where he encouraged Allies to see a
future of cooperation.
-- Afghanistan: SHAPE reported that the Government of
Pakistan had suspended operations of the Frontier Corps in
Khyber agency in order to facilitate talks, and that
relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan remain tense.
Tactical plans are in place for the transfer of security
responsibility to the ANSF in Kabul city beginning August 28,
but there are no immediate plans for a change in ISAFs force
levels. Regarding civilian casualties, BG Porter stated that
dialogue with the UN (both UNAMA and UNHQ) has begun
regarding how to calculate numbers accurately. Chairman of
the Military Committee (CMC) Di Paola stated that the
Transport Trust Fund has zeroed out, and some equipment
donations in Europe (including helicopters and infantry
fighting vehicles) cannot be shipped to Afghanistan until
there are further donations to the Fund. He said COMISAF
sees OMLTs as a top priority for NATO, but that the ongoing
shortage will become more acute if/when DefMin Wardaks
proposal to increase the size of the ANA is approved. U.S.
Charge Stein commended the growth in ANA capability and
recent performance, but drew attention to signs of heavy
tasking and operational shortfalls during this update and
recent SHAPE briefing as indications of the need for
additional ANA capability. The SYG added that NATO needs a
careful assessment of the implications of the ANA expansion,
saying he would raise these points on his trip to Kabul this
week.
-- Balkans: The SYG praised the July 18 "Friends of Kosovo"
meeting in Brussels, while the Turkish PermRep cautioned it
was a need-driven event that did not need to be repeated
soon. The CMC urged Allies to provide a replacement to the
Hungarian company that had been providing security at KFORs
main base in Pristina. Many Allies welcomed the news of
Radovan Karadzics arrest and agreed with the SYGs approach
of welcoming the arrest while keeping the pressure on Serbian
authorities to also arrest Ratko Mladic. The Spanish and
Bulgarian PermReps expressed concern that Macedonia was
endangering its chances for Euro-Atlantic integration through
its actions over the name dispute with Greece. The SYG
accepted the suggestion of sending a message to Skopje that
it should engage discreetly and constructively to resolve the
name dispute.
-- Africa - Support to the AU: The Spanish PermRep noted that
the latest EU GAERC meeting had reached conclusions on the
issue of Somali piracy that could effect the debate at NATO.
-- Iraq: No discussion.
-- Activities of the Senior NATO Logisticians Conference
USNATO 00000258 002 OF 005
(SNLC): The co-chairmen of the SNLC briefed on the outcome of
the Spring 2008 SNLC. They highlighted the work accomplished
at the conference and how the SNLC has focused its efforts
toward collective and multi-national solutions, which
supports the expeditionary nature of current NATO operations
and the NATOs transformation to support future operations.
END SUMMARY.

2. (C/NF) Farewell to the Permanent Representative from
France: In his farewell address to the NAC, departing French
PermRep Richard Duque noted that in the ten years of his
career he had devoted to NATO the Alliance had always been
described as being "in crisis." He quipped that the Alliance
should only worry if it was no longer described as being in
crisis. Duque said the greatest threat for the Alliance lay
not in finding a stronger adversary, but in being pulled into
disunity. He thought NATOs relations with Russia had the
greatest potential to split the Allies and said a number of
Allies see a future in cooperation, not conflict, with Russia
and seek a full dialogue with Russia without falling into
traps. He said the other Allies should take note of this
reality. Duque said he had worked to increase cooperation
between France and NATO and predicted that if a "new meaning"
could be given to European defense then Frances relations
with NATO would be renewed at the NATO Summit in April.

-----------
Afghanistan
-----------

3. (C/NF) BG Porter, SHAPEs Assistant Chief of Staff for
Plans and Policy, reported that there has been a 49 percent
increase over 2007 in indirect fire incidents against ISAF
and ANSF in the Pakistan/Afghanistan border areas. Most of
the indirect fire is ineffective, but is used to distract
attention from movement of insurgents from Pakistan into
Afghanistan. BG Porter said there had been little recent
activity in Garmsir district of Helmand, as the OMF are now
focusing on northern Helmand and Kandahar. In RC-East,
activity is focused on security and clearance of the Ring
Road, particularly in Logar and Ghazni provinces.
4. (C/NF) Regarding Pakistan, BG Porter noted the government
had suspended operations of the Frontier Corps in Khyber
agency in order to facilitate talks. He added that two
tribes in Hangu town in NWFP have "declared war" on the
Taliban, though it is too early to assess the consequences.
Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan remain tense.
Another meeting between COMISAF and Pakistani CHOD Kayani is
scheduled for late July, when they will discuss the next
TriPartite Commission meeting set for late August at the
4-star level.

5. (C/NF) Regarding current operations, BG Porter said ISAFs
focus is on freedom of movement along key roads, including
the Ring Road. In RC-East, there has been a reduction in OMF
attacks on the Ring Road south of Kabul. The arrival of
Polish and French units in RC-East, as well as the rotation
of U.S. units, will change the "geometry on the ground." In
RC-North, ISAF is working with ANSF to increase security
USNATO 00000258 003 OF 005
along the Ring Road. In RC-South, there has been a focus of
operations around Kandahar city, and there will be operations
in northern Helmand, to set the conditions for work at the
Kajaki dam in the coming months. The ANA ordered a full
kandak to Garmsir district by August 1.

6. (C/NF) In RC-Central the tactical plans are in place for
the transfer of security responsibility to ANSF. The
transfer is phased: Kabul city on August 28; Phase 2 (north)
in October 2008; Phase 3 (south) in December 2008; and Phase
4 (east) in January - March 2009. This will not have an
immediate impact on ISAFs CJSOR. ISAF will continue to
provide enablers in Kabul, and there are no immediate plans
for a change in ISAFs force levels. ISAF will continue to
provide security at key sites, including the airport and
ISAFs own locations. BG Porter also explicitly stated that
this transfer is not part of OPLAN Phase IV (transition).

7. (C/NF) BG Porter reported voter registration will be
conducted in phases from October 2008 through February 2009.
OMF are likely to react with public messaging and attempted
attacks on some registration sites, but it is not assessed as
likely that OMF will conduct large-scale coordinated efforts
to disrupt registration. ISAF will provide security within
means and capabilities and will likely provide third-line
security in support of the ANSF. BG Porter also noted that
ISAF and ANSF planning is flexible to allow for changes in
timetables, and that additional details will be forthcoming.

8. (C/NF) Regarding civilian casualties, BG Porter stated
that dialogue with the UN (both UNAMA and UNHQ) has begun
regarding how to calculate numbers accurately. Spanish
PermRep Benavides asked about public messaging on incidents
of civilian casualties, and the CMC, Admiral Di Paola,
described the careful investigative process and said ISAF
does advise the press that it will investigate these cases.

9. (C/NF) CMC Di Paola stated that the Transport Trust Fund
has zeroed out, and that there are some equipment donations
in Europe (including helicopters and infantry fighting
vehicles) awaiting transport to Afghanistan that cannot move
pending further donations to the TTF. CMC Di Paola stated
that of ten planned ANA "branch schools," only three have
sponsoring nations, so seven require sponsors. He also
mentioned ANA literacy as an important focus.

10. (C/NF) CMC Di Paola said that COMISAF sees OMLTs as a top
priority, but that the ongoing shortage will become more
acute if/when DefMin Wardaks plans to increase the size of
the ANA are approved. In response to a question from the
Bulgarian PermRep, he stated that the ANA expansion will also
impact training, equipment needs, etc., and the IMS will
provide an assessment of these needs after the September JCMB
meeting that will decide on Wardaks plan. Meanwhile ISAF is
also evaluating the need for the expansion -- and the Afghan
governments justification of its request. U.S. Charge Stein
commended the growth in ANA capability and recent
performance, but drew attention to signs of heavy tasking and
operational shortfalls during this update and recent SHAPE
briefing as indications of the need for additional ANA
capability. BG Porter acknowledged that the ANA is heavily
tasked, saying "wee pushing as far as possible" but that
they are creful not to push too far in order to avoid an
oerational failure. BG Porter added that the ANA i growing
increasingly capable under CSTC-As tutlage, noting that the
ANAs response to the prisn break and to the attack on the
U.S. combat outpst were both satisfactory. The SYG later
added hat NATO does need a careful assessment of the
iplications of the ANA expansion, saying he would rise
these points on his trip to Kabul this week.

11. (C/NF) UK PermRep Eldon asked about progresson EUPOLs
MOUs with PRTs, but CMC Di Paola saidhe had no information
to report in this area. Edon also asked about the decrease
in the number f suicide attacks, which BG Porter attributed
toISAFs success in interdicting routes and cells of uicide
bombers. Eldon also asked for a provinceby-province
breakdown of border incidents and a imetable for work at
Kajaki dam, which BG Porterundertook to provide.

-------
Balkans
------

12. (C/NF) The SYG said the July 18 "Friends o Kosovo"
meeting in Brussels had been constructie and many
participants had agreed bureaucratic ifficulties between
NATO and the EU should not b allowed to hinder cooperation.
He said he was glad to hear EU High Rep for the CSDP Solana
say there would be no security gaps in Kosovo. While there
was more work to do on the EU-UN MOU, the SYG hoped EULEX
would be deployed by the fall, though deployment could
stretch to the end of the year since the 120 day clock would
not start until the MOU was signed. The UK said it had a
different understanding -) that the 120 day clock would
begin July 23, per discussions at the UN in New York. The UK
also reminded the NAC that it still owed the NATO Military
Authorities an updated OPLAN for KFOR. The Turkish PermRep
commented that the "Friends of Kosovo" meeting had been a
need-driven event and the results should be absorbed before
rushing to schedule another. He also said he said it would
take time to eliminate "uncertainties" regarding the OPLAN,
so there should be no rush to complete it until the picture
was clearer.

13. (C/NF) CMC Di Paola said the threat levels in Kosovo had
not changed and the situation remained calm. KFOR was
conducting fire security operations, which will continue
through September in preparation for a possible repeat of
last summers wildfires. Trust Funds for the stand-down on
the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) and stand-up of the Kosovo
Security Force (KSF) had been established and SHAPE was
preparing a detailed planning document as well as a detailed
requirements list for equipment donations for the KSF.

14. (C/NF) The CMC also noted that the Hungarian company that
had been providing security to KFORs main base in Pristina
had completed its tour and no Ally had provided a
replacement. Currently one maneuver company had been tasked
with guarding the base. The CMC hoped a replacement would be
found during the November Global Force Generation Conference.
USNATO 00000258 005 OF 005

15. (C/NF) The SYG welcomed the news of Rodovan Karadzics
arrest by Serbian authorities, saying it was an important day
for the victims of Sarajevo and Srebrenica. He said NATO
should welcome the arrest, but not overly so, and keep the
pressure on the Serbs to also arrest Ratko Mladic. Several
PermReps )- Slovenia, Spain, Italy, Canada, UK, Greece, and
U.S. )- supported the SYGs message. Slovenia added that
the arrest demonstrated that extending support to pro-EU
political forces in Serbia had been the right thing to do.
Spain said the arrest was another of a series of positive
steps taken by the new government in Serbia.

16. (C/NF) The Spanish PermRep expressed concern about the
actions of "nationalists in Macedonia" that were jeopardizing
the Euro-Atlantic future of that country. He suggested NATO
send an envoy to Macedonia to deliver a message to Macedonia
and not allow Macedonia to "isolate itself." The Greek
PermRep said Macedonian PM Gruevski had sent a letter that
"raised extraneous matters and was an attempt to throw a
spanner in the works" and that the Greek PM had responded
with a letter that urged Gruevski to engage seriously.
Bulgaria supported the Spanish proposal and the SYG concluded
he would find a way to send a message to Skopje that it
should engage in discreet discussion on the name issue and
avoid diplomacy through letters and accusations.

--------------------------
Africa - Support to the AU
--------------------------

17. (C/NF) The Spanish PermRep briefly noted that the July 22
EU General Affairs and External Relations Committee (GAERC)
will discuss Somali Piracy. The SYG said was aware of this,
noting the matter was related to the NAC discussion on piracy
of a few weeks ago in which the NAC deferred further
discussion until the EU approach was clearer.

-------------------------------------------
Activities of the Senior NATO Logisticians Conference
-------------------------------------------

18. (U) Assistant SYG for Defense Policy and Planning Sedivy
and Deputy Chairman of the Military Committee LTG Eikenberry,
co-chairmen of the SNLC, briefed the NAC on the Spring SNLC.
Ambassador Sedivys portion focused on the SNLC Vision and
Objectives for 2009-2018, and cooperation with partner
nations. LTG Eikenberry addressed collective responsibility,
multi-national logistics, and logistics transformation. The
emphasis from each briefer was the accomplishments being made
in creating multi-national synergy and that NATO logistics is
transforming to meet the needs of an expeditionary alliance.
The briefing was well received by the national
representatives. Canada, the Czech Republic and the United
Kingdom each echoed the need to work collectively to save and
manage precious resources. The CMC stressed that logistics
is a key enabler and that collective logistics must be built
into the plan and not developed after deployment into theater.
STEIN

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