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Cablegate: Merkel Outlines Germany's Vision for Nato:

VZCZCXRO2422
PP RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHYG
DE RUEHRL #1544/01 3220535
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 170535Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2642
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0582
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV PRIORITY 0037
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 1985
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY 0244
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BERLIN 001544

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR NATO EUN GM RS UP GG AF
SUBJECT: MERKEL OUTLINES GERMANY'S VISION FOR NATO:
'NETWORKED SECURITY'

1. (U) SUMMARY. In a major speech in Berlin November 10,
Chancellor Merkel promoted the German concept of "networked
security," emphasizing that NATO's experience in Afghanistan
showed that "security cannot be achieved by military means
alone." Merkel argued that the "networked security" approach
should be a central part of NATO's new strategic concept. In
an apparent reference to Russian President Medvedev's recent
European security architecture proposal, Merkel emphasized
that it would not be possible to "drive a wedge" into the
transatlantic partnership. She emphasized, however, that
NATO should have a "close and reliable" partnership with
Russia. While stressing that Georgia and Ukraine were not
ready for NATO membership, she said that "we must map out a
path that will lead us in this direction." Merkel focused
more than half of her speech on Afghanistan, calling it "the
challenge" for NATO and hammering away at the need to fully
implement the "networked security" approach. END SUMMARY.

FOCUS ON 'NETWORKED SECURITY'

2. (SBU) Chancellor Merkel opened the Annual Conference of
the Atlantic Treaty Association in Berlin on November 10 with
a major speech on challenges facing NATO and its role in the
21st century, focusing particularly on Afghanistan (full text
of speech e-mailed to NSC, EUR/CE, EUR/RPM and USNATO). The
Chancellery told post that the speech was probably the most
significant foreign policy speech Merkel would deliver this
fall. In stressing the need for the April 2009 NATO Summit
in Strasbourg/Kehl to task an update of the 1999 strategic
concept, she strongly promoted the German concept of
"networked security" (vernetzte Sicherheit), which emphasizes
the need for military power to be accompanied by civilian
resources and engagement to deal with 21st Century asymmetric
threats. Merkel argued that the NATO experience in
Afghanistan showed that "security cannot be achieved by
military means alone." She said the key question to be
addressed in the new strategic concept is the degree to which
NATO is prepared to be a "political alliance" that considers
"networked security to be one of its tasks." Merkel argued
that in such an Alliance, military action would always be
conducted "in conjunction with development assistance, backed
up by a political mandate, and on the basis of regulations
extending far beyond military matters."

CLOSE PARTNERSHIP WITH RUSSIA

3. (U) Regarding Russia, Merkel indicated that the next NATO
Summit should send a clear signal to Russia that "we want a
close and reliable partnership with Russia to the maximum
degree possible." Merkel reiterated Germany's position that
it is important for NATO to talk with Russia as a partner.
"It is always better to talk to, rather than about, one
another." However, she repeated that NATO and the
transatlantic relationship are the "strong cornerstone of our
security architecture." In an apparent reference to Russian
President Medvedev's European security recent proposal,
Merkel emphasized that it would not be possible to "drive a
wedge" into the transatlantic partnership. "Such attempts
failed in the past and will also fail in the future."

GEORGIA/UKRAINE

4. (U) Merkel noted that the decision taken at the Bucharest
Summit regarding the eventual NATO membership of Georgia and
Ukraine "remains valid," but that neither country yet meets
the conditions for NATO membership "given the current
situation" in each. She said she did not see this changing
in the near future. "Nevertheless, we must map out a path
that will lead us in this direction." She ruled out a
Russian veto on membership, noting that "third parties are
not entitled to determine who will and will not join NATO."

AFGHANISTAN

5. (U) Merkel focused more than half of her speech on
Afghanistan, calling it "the challenge" for NATO and
hammering away at the need to fully implement the "networked
security" approach. She rejected the need for a new
strategy, arguing instead that the challenge was how to
"translate the concept of networked security" into reality on
the ground in Afghanistan. She reminded the audience that
NATO was in Afghanistan to ensure that it never again became
a breeding ground for terrorists and that the mission was

BERLIN 00001544 002 OF 002


supported by UNSC resolutions. She cautioned against
focusing solely on the number of deployed troops, stressing
the need for police officers, aid workers and other civilian
specialists as well. She also emphasized the need for a
comprehensive engagement by the entire international
community.

6. (U) She said the goal in Afghanistan was to establish
self-sustaining structures, noting that building up the
Afghan national security forces was "a special challenge for
-- and priority of -- our engagement." Merkel recognized
NATO's successes, but stressed repeatedly the need for more
engagement by the Afghan government, especially on difficult
issues like counternarcotics. "We cannot fight poppy
cultivation if the Afghan actors do not strongly and bravely
express themselves on this issue." Finally, in a clear
reference to the planned deployment of AWACS aircraft to
Afghanistan, Merkel said that "progress must be made on
aerial reconnaissance."
TIMKEN JR

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