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Cablegate: New Zealand - Hosted Psi Exercise Maru

VZCZCXRO4316
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHFK RUEHHM RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHPB
DE RUEHWL #0392/01 3240444
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 190444Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5548
INFO RUEHNZ/AMCONSUL AUCKLAND 1800
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 5330
RUEHDN/AMCONSUL SYDNEY 0764
RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUEHZU/ASIAN PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHMFISS/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RHFJUSC/US CUSTOMS SERVICE WASHINGTON DC
RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHDC
RHEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 WELLINGTON 000392

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/ANP, PACOM FOR J01E/J2/J233/J5/SJFHQ

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR PREL PTER NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND - HOSTED PSI EXERCISE MARU

WELLINGTON 00000392 001.2 OF 004

1. (U) Summary: In September 2008, the United
States participated in the New Zealand-hosted
Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) exercise,
MARU, in the Hauraki Gulf and the port of Auckland,
New Zealand. MARU was the thirty-sixth PSI exercise
since the inception of the initiative in 2003. The
exercise included the participation of Asia-Pacific
nations and many global PSI partners. MARU was
unique among PSI exercises in that it incorporated
live exercise play into a table top exercise
focusing on post-interdiction disposition issues.
Additionally, MARU had a strong customs and law
enforcement focus, with military support
highlighting the interagency nature of PSI
activities. Plenary sessions allowed discussion of
issues such as legal standards for action, and
intelligence sharing, by representatives of the 29
countries present. End summary.

2. (U) From September 13-19 2008, the New Zealand
Customs Service (NZCS) hosted the Proliferation
Security Initiative (PSI) Exercise MARU in Auckland.
The 31-member USG delegation included
representatives from several parts of the Department
of Defense, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
(CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE), the FBI, the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM),
the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), the U.S.
European Command (EUCOM), the U.S. Seventh Fleet,
and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Consulate General
Auckland also played an active role, with the
Consular Chief acting as a group leader for plenary
discussions, and the Ambassador paying a visit to
the U.S. delegation's task force workroom.
Including the United States, there were eight
countries participating in the exercise, eleven
countries observing which have formally endorsed the
PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles, and ten
countries observing which have not endorsed these
PSI principles.

--------------------------------
Exercise MARU Overview and Goals
--------------------------------

3. (U) Exercise MARU consisted of several phases,
including live exercises (LIVEX) dealing with
maritime interception and interdiction, LIVEX port
search demonstrations, and a tabletop exercise (TTX)
gaming phase exploring post-interdiction disposition
issues. The exercise also included substantial
outreach efforts to the attending non-endorsee
delegations and an industry workshop dealing with
trade security. Objectives for the exercise
included:

- To demonstrate the law enforcement approach of
PSI, which includes the interdiction, investigation
and prosecution of proliferators attempting to
circumvent domestic and international laws.

- To give PSI partner countries an opportunity to
participate in a maritime interdiction operation
involving interception (location), surveillance
(tracking), and interdiction (ship-boarding).

- To advance understanding of issues related to
interdiction, flag state consent, diversion,
liability, proliferation network investigation, and
the gathering of evidence to support prosecution.

- To raise the profile of weapons of mass

WELLINGTON 00000392 002.2 OF 004


destruction (WMD) proliferation issues in the Asia-
Pacific region and to enable non-PSI states to
understand better the initiative and its
contributions to nonproliferation.

- To advance industry engagement and technical
outreach regarding PSI.

- To advance understanding of information and
intelligence sharing at national and international
levels.

4. The exercise was the first of its kind in several
respects, including that it was the first PSI
exercise to include TTX game play that dealt
primarily with the decision-making process after the
interdiction of a shipment of proliferation concern.

--------------------------------------------- -------
The Live Exercise and its Corresponding TTX Scenario
--------------------------------------------- -------

5. (SBU) MARU followed a general scenario designed
to test the exercise objectives, using the transfer
of proliferation-related dual use materials between
two countries of concern (RED and GREEN) as the core
of its storyline. Intelligence and information
gathered by the participating countries indicated
that COUNTRY GREEN was attempting to procure
materials, equipment, and technology necessary for
its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs
from COUNTRY RED. To avoid detection of the
transfer of these goods (which would be in violation
of United Nations Security Council Resolutions
against the two countries), the WMD components were
transported by an indirect route, transshipping
through several countries, and repackaged in new
containers to mask the origin and final destination.
The materials included Missile Technology Control
Regime-controlled aluminum powder, metal sheets and
ball bearings, as well as various hazardous
chemicals. In addition to trying to conceal the
transfer of materials by a circuitous route, the
materials had also been given false end-users and
had been improperly manifested.

6. (SBU) In the scenario, the materials had been
sent in four identified containers from COUNTRY
RED's procurement network in Asia to Singapore by
the vessel Redstar. Following this, three of the
containers were loaded on the vessel MV Seabreeze,
destined for transit through the Port of Tauranga in
New Zealand next, before being transshipped once
again to ports in Europe, from which the
proliferation network of COUNTRY GREEN would then
again re-route the cargo to GREEN. However,
intelligence and information gathered from several
countries determined while the shipments aboard the
Seabreeze were in transit that it would be necessary
to locate, track, and board the vessel. A decision
was also made within the scenario that it would be
necessary to divert the Seabreeze to the Port of
Auckland rather than allow it to continue to
Tauranga. The corresponding live and tabletop
exercises explored: the operational capabilities to
perform these actions; the necessary international
cooperation and information sharing involved; the
ramifications for this type of interdiction
including the ability to conduct a criminal case
against the involved parties; further investigation
of the proliferation network; and the costs of
interdiction, including which parties would be
liable for these costs.

WELLINGTON 00000392 003.2 OF 004

---------------------
The Tabletop Exercise
---------------------

7. (SBU) In the weeks prior to Exercise MARU, and
continuing through the LIVEX, participant countries
(with the exception of France) were involved in a
table-top game which built further upon the
activities being demonstrated in the live exercising
phases.

8. (SBU) Before the exercise, participant countries
received scenario "injects" with information and
intelligence related to the COUNTRY RED and COUNTRY
GREEN proliferation networks, including intelligence
on the transfer of shipments and associated
individuals and front companies connected to the
networks. The injects contained information limited
to only certain countries, forcing participant
administrations to determine if they wish to share
the intelligence further with other countries based
on its potential sensitivity. The injects continued
on September 15, 16, and 17 as the LIVEX was going
on, and reflected a series of situation updates
based on actions occurring within the LIVEX about
the shipment of the three suspect containers aboard
the MV Seabreeze, and also occurring with a fourth
container identified already in New Zealand. This
latter container was held and intended for export by
the New Zealand-based front company (SCIFO Ltd NZ)
associated with the other three inbound suspect
containers (and was likely the fourth container from
the Redstar, illegally transited to NZ with its
origin hidden). This fourth container was inspected
and determined to contain controlled dual-use
strategic goods including radial ball bearings and
stainless steel sheets, which were not properly
licensed for export.

9. (SBU) During the tabletop exercise, the seven
participating countries manned country-room
operations centers, and communicated with one
another and with the Exercise MARU Ops Center by
computer message and occasional interpersonal
interplay. The focus throughout the game play was
to gain sufficient information from other playing
countries to build as strong a case as possible
against the proliferation network involved in the
illicit movement of the WMD-related materials. In
this effort, the exercise players dealt with and
shared potentially sensitive intelligence which
might well not be obtained, or released in court, in
the real world.

---------------------------
Plenary Session Discussions
---------------------------

10. (SBU) Throughout the week of the exercise,
additional activities enriched the experience of all
countries involved, participating and observing
states alike. An example was an industry workshop
dealing with trade security. Perhaps of most use
overall were the plenary sessions held in the last
two days, which discussed independently issues that
the countries participating in the TTX were dealing
with, and which finally served as a summation of the
whole week's activity. Some of these central
questions were:

-What domestic and international authorities do
governments have to divert, board, and search a

WELLINGTON 00000392 004.2 OF 004


vessel?
-What domestic and international legal authorities
do governments have to detain goods and claim
jurisdiction?
-What evidence are countries properly relying on to
divert, board, search, and detain goods, and how can
countries address the issues of information
classification and intelligence sharing?
-What information can or should be shared with the
media through the investigative process?

Participant countries played the strongest role in
attempting to answer these questions, explaining
their respective decision-making process, and the
various laws and authorities used within that
process.

-------
Comment
-------

11. (SBU) By all accounts, Exercise MARU was a
resounding success. The Ambassador and the Acting
Consul General in Auckland visited the virtual U.S.
Ops Center, and were impressed with the complexity
of the exercise and the quality of the U.S.
involvement. The field visits to New Zealand
military installations, and especially the at-sea
boarding exercises, contributed a strong sense of
immediacy. But the tabletop exercise was the major
revelation, as it brought to focus the very real
issues that would have to be confronted while states
were trying to balance combating the threats of
today's world with maintaining the legal norms that
make our societies worth preserving. There was a
tremendous spirit of collegiality among the several
hundred people assembled, which spoke well of what
they had accomplished together, and what these
continuing efforts could accomplish still.

MCCORMICK

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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