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Cablegate: Sweden to Extend Military Commitment to Afghanistan

VZCZCXRO1310
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSM #0770 3191540
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141540Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3901
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0093
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS STOCKHOLM 000770

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MAAR MCAP MASS MOPS PGOV PREL AF SW
SUBJECT: SWEDEN TO EXTEND MILITARY COMMITMENT TO AFGHANISTAN

1. On November 13, the Alliance government approved for
transmission to Parliament a bill to extend Sweden's ISAF
commitment to Afghanistan by 12 months. The bill will also
expand the Swedish military contribution by:

-- Increasing the number of ISAF troops from 366 to
approximately 500 and raising the ceiling of troops available
for deployment "in a contingency" from 600 to 855.

-- Sending one C-130 transport plane plus crew, one medevac
helicopter and crews (date of delivery to be determined).

-- Deploying additional maneuver elements of approximately
30-40 troops, divided into five Operational Mentoring Liaison
Teams (OMLTs).

2. The bill will be made public either November 14 or 17,
depending on when it is finally received in Parliament. A
joint Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee will consider the
bill for 15 days before moving it to Parliament for a vote.
Foreign Minister Carl Bildt's office tells us the vote will
be held December 15-20. No government bill has ever failed
to be approved by Parliament, according to Parliamentary
Foreign Affairs Committee staffers.

3. Sweden also increased its development assistance to
Afghanistan (see Septel to follow).
WOOD

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