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Cablegate: Swedes Increase Aid to Afghanistan but Continue To

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STOCKHOLM 000771

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON PGOV PREL KDEM KISL AF SW
SUBJECT: SWEDES INCREASE AID TO AFGHANISTAN BUT CONTINUE TO
DEBATE CIVILIAN-MILITARY COOPERATION

REF: A. STOCKHOLM 752
B. STOCKHOLM 750

1. Summary: On November 13, Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for
International Development Cooperation, announced that a new
Afghanistan development cooperation bill had been introduced
to Parliament that will:

-- Focus on promoting democracy, providing education with an
emphasis on increasing opportunities for females, and
starting businesses.

-- Increase regular development cooperation from $38.5
million to $64.1 million over the next three-year strategy
period.

-- Direct 20-25 percent of its total development assistance
to the four Northern provinces for which the Swedish PRT is
responsible. This is up from 15-20 percent in 2008.

Participants at a recent Swedish seminar on
civilian-military cooperation in Afghanistan and the
relationship between security and development agreed that:

-- Sweden's civilian presence and assistance must be expanded.

-- Aid must be long term, sustainable and based on a common
strategy.

-- Swedish military troops should provide security and not
conduct aid efforts.

End Summary.

2. On November 12, Emboffs attended a seminar arranged by
Society and Defense, the Green, Social Democrat and Left
parties to discuss Swedish civilian-military cooperation in
Afghanistan Participants included representatives from the
ruling Alliance, key opposition parties, the Swedish
International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the
Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Swedish-led PRT in
Mazar-e-Sharif, the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SAC),
and the Swedish National Defense College. Lars Ekman,
Secretary-General, Society and Defense, commented that
without security, there is no development, and without
development, there is no security. Ambassador Oljelund,
Ambassador at Large in the Swedish MFA, traveled to
Afghanistan in early 2008 to review Swedish military and
civilian efforts stated that PRTs should not have their own
assistance funds, but should instead provide ideas and advice
to civilian development professionals.

3. Colonel Torbjorn Larsson, Commanding Officer of the
Swedish-led PRT, told participants that the primary military
task is to provide security, so that development
professionals can work safely in the PRT's four provinces.
Larsson commented that while his troops are not trained to
provide assistance, they know the regions and have
established valuable relationships with the local
populations. SIDA representative Sara Gustafsson agreed with
Larsson, adding that Afghans must receive assistance from the
Government of Afghanistan (GOA). She also stated that there
must be a clear separation between military and civilian
assistance workers, even though they need to cooperate and
rely on each other.

New Afghanistan Assistance Strategy
-----------------------------------

4. On November 13, the new Afghanistan ISAF assistance bill
was introduced that will increase regular development
cooperation from $38.5 million to $64.1 million over the next
three-year strategy period. Sweden will continue its support
to ISAF and further strengthen its military commitment by
increasing troops from 366 to approximately 500 and raising
the number of troops available for deployment from 600 to 855
(see Septel). The new bill also calls for Sweden to direct
20-25 percent of its total development assistance to the four
Northern provinces for which the Swedish PRT is responsible,
up from 15-20 percent in 2008. According to Carlsson, the
bill will focus on three areas: promoting democracy,
providing education with an emphasis on increasing
opportunities for females, and starting businesses. The
government has tasked SIDA with drafting a proposal for

STOCKHOLM 00000771 002 OF 002


development cooperation in Afghanistan for the period July 1,
2009 to December 31, 2013.


Politics, Politics and More Politics
------------------------------------

5. Representatives from the Social Democratic, Green, Left
and Moderate parties debated the various aspects of
civilian-military cooperation and Sweden's role in
Afghanistan. Although the Social Democrats are divided on
the issue, they support the ISAF bill that will increase
Swedish troops and increase humanitarian assistance
significantly. Moderate Party representatives stressed that
the ruling Alliance seeks to establish a joint organization
similar to the Danish model to coordinate and improve control
over Swedish assistance to Afghanistan.

6. Representatives from the Left and Green parties have
called for Sweden to withdraw its troops and focus on
humanitarian assistance, adding that Sweden has clearly
"chosen sides" instead of playing its traditional role of
peace-keeper. Left Party leader Lars Ohly stated "it is
essential to keep U.S. war-making separate from UN
peace-keeping efforts in Afghanistan." Green Party Member of
Parliament (MP) Peter Radberg questioned the very purpose of
PRTs, stating that "the situation has only deteriorated, and
we should be increasing our civilian presence and assistance
instead." Social Democrat MP suggested that PRTs should be
called Provincial Security Teams (PSTs) instead. He cited
Governor Atta's recent comment in an interview when asked
about the Swedish PRT: "Thanks for the security. Now where's
the reconstruction?" Harstedt opined that the military is
being criticized for not providing reconstruction, which is
something it has never been trained to provide. He advocated
assembling all PRT actors - the UN, NGOs, SIDA advisors, the
military, and MFA representatives - prior to deployment to
train, plan and learn to work together.

7. Comment: All participants agreed on the need to increase
Swedish civilian presence and assistance in Afghanistan, but
could not agree on how to achieve the proper balance between
providing security and achieving long term, sustainable
development. Aside from suggesting training and planning
together prior to deployment, no one addressed the unspoken
question: Now that we have a consensus, where do we go from
here?
WOOD

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