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Cablegate: Jcmb-X Accomplishes Little

VZCZCXRO5696
PP RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #3206/01 3491204
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141204Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6416
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC 0696
RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KABUL 003206

DEPT FOR SCA/FO, SCA/RA, AND SCA/A
DEPT PASS AID/ANE
DEPT PASS USTR FOR GERBER AND KLEIN
DEPT PASS OPIC FOR ZAHNISER
DEPT PASS TDA FOR STEIN AND GREENIP
USOECD FOR ENERGY ATTACHE
CENTCOM FOR CSTC-A
NSC FOR JWOOD
TREASURY FOR LMCDONALD, ABAUKOL, BDAHL, AND MNUGENT
OSD FOR SHIVERS
COMMERCE FOR DEES, CHOPPIN, AND FONOVICH

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL EAGR AF
SUBJECT: JCMB-X ACCOMPLISHES LITTLE

1. (SBU) Summary. JCMB-X succeeded mainly in referring several
agenda items to subsidiary bodies for further review. Members
agreed to pass to a working group a UK-designed proposal to replace
the Counter-Narcotics Trust Fund with a body that looks to Post too
much like the CNTF. The International Police Coordination Board
will take up the Interior Minister's proposed priorities for police
reform and then pass the matter to the Security Standing Committee
for decision. A task force under the Governance Standing Committee
will consider IDLG's proposal for a "basket funding" mechanism for
sub-national governance programs. JCMB members received GIRoA
progress reports on the security situation, counter-narcotics,
anti-corruption, senior appointments, and UNAMA's efforts to
strengthen donor coordination and aid effectiveness. Though not
discussed at length, the GIRoA urged donors to provide more food aid
to avoid starvation this winter. End Summary

2. (U) The tenth meeting of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring
Board took place November 30 in Kabul, co-chaired by Afghan Senior
Minister Arsala and UN SRSG Kai Eide. The U.S. was represented by
Charg d'Affaires Dell. Arsala began the meeting by urging donors
to provide more food aid to avoid starvation this winter. He noted
that only about one-third of the amount requested in the July
emergency appeal has so far been pledged. (Note: Most of this has
been provided by the US.)

SUCCESSOR TO THE COUNTER-NARCOTICS TRUST FUND

3. (SBU) Minister of Agriculture Rahimi submitted a concept paper on
replacing the ailing Counter-Narcotics Trust Fund (CNTF) with a
program entitled "Sustainable Reduction in Poppy" (SRP). The
program, designed by the British government, aims to facilitate the
flow of donor funds to counternarcotics-related projects at the
district level. The SRP fund would be administered by the Ministry
of Finance instead of the United Nations Development Program and
would direct money through a special account for CN projects
approved by the donor community.

4. (SBU) CDA Dell and the European Commission (EC) representative
voiced skepticism about the new program for being too similar to the
CNTF and for reducing the ability of the Ministry of
Counternarcotics (MCN) to take the lead in administering CN projects
through the US- and UK-funded Good Performers Initiative (GPI). The
US wants all CN donor contributions to be channeled through the GPI
and has lobbied the international community (IC) to support it. JCMB
members agreed to review the SRP proposal in a working group
comprising interested donors and three ministries (Agriculture,
Counternarcotics, and Rural Development), which would make a
recommendation to a JCMB Standing Committee. Co-chair Eide appealed
for an early decision.

SECURITY

5. (SBU) Defense Minister Wardak briefed on the security situation.
He said the enemy was better resourced this year than in the past,
NATO and ANSF forces were stretched to their limits, and the enemy
may launch "spectacular attacks" this winter. Wardak thanked the
JCMB for agreeing to expand the ANA at its last meeting and urged
funding of sustainment costs. He called for transferring more
leadership to ANA, as has been done in Kabul, urged NATO to do more
on CN, and pledged that ANSF will support the task of providing
security for elections next year.

MOI AND POLICE REFORM

6. (SBU) Interior Minister Atmar presented his six strategic
priorities for immediate action on police reform: 1) accelerate and
expand Focused District Development and other existing programs; 2)

KABUL 00003206 002 OF 003


implement a comprehensive MOI anti-corruption plan; 3) reinforce
intelligence and investigative capacity to curb organized crime,
reduce civilian and police casualties, and support counter-terrorism
and counter-insurgency campaigns; 4) enlarge the tashkil (approved
police payroll), especially for medium- and high-risk districts; 5)
improve security in principal cities and along highways; and 6)
ensure security for free, fair and transparent elections in 2009.
Atmar also described internal reforms he is implementing to reduce
corruption, including requiring senior officials to complete
financial disclosure statements. MOI officials suspected of
anti-corruption activities will be terminated and prosecuted, he
said.

7. (SBU) Atmar emphasized his desire to work in consultation with
the international community on the basis of mutual accountability.
SRSG Eide urged members to discuss Atmar's paper in the
International Police Coordination Board (IPCB) with a view to
supporting his proposals. Most donors endorsed Atmar's initiatives
and expressed confidence that they would increase their financial
support. The EC rep expressed an institutional concern, namely that
the paper could be discussed at the IPCB but important decisions --
including increasing the tashkil, establishing a public guard force,
and CN plans impacting the balance and architecture of the ANP --
should only be taken in the JCMB.

SUB-NATIONAL GOVERNANCE

8. (SBU) Head of the Independent Directorate for Local Governance
(IDLG) Popal presented a proposal for improving coordination of
funding of IDLG's programs to strengthen sub-national governance
(SNG). He said IDLG manages several programs, but funding has been
fragmentary as individual donors support individual programs through
various channels, resulting in uneven support among regions and
heavy demands on IDLG to manage multiple funding streams. Popal
proposed a "basket funding" approach whereby IDLG programs would be
supported through the national budget, UNDP's Afghanistan
Sub-National Governance Program, or the Afghanistan Reconstruction
Trust Fund. He asked that a task force under the JCMB Governance
Standing Committee take up the issue.

9. (SBU) Donors, including the US, endorsed the task force but
expressed strong reservations about putting all streams of funding
for SNG programs into one basket. Arsala confirmed that the task
force will discuss which programs might be funded through a basket
approach and then the Standing Committee or full JCMB will take
decisions.

COUNTER-NARCOTICS

10. (SBU) The Minister of Counternarcotics, Gen. Khodaidad,
presented an overview of CN successes in 2008 and stated that much
still needs to be done to lower the amount of poppy cultivation and
opium production in Afghanistan. Khodaidad said poppy cultivation
in 2008 declined 19 percent compared with last year, the number of
poppy-free provinces rose from 13 to 18, the number of households
involved in poppy cultivation dropped by 28 percent, and that seven
provinces now produce 98 percent of the poppy in the country. He
said the GIRoA still needed to aggressively pursue major narcotics
traffickers and that all ministries and levels of government must
work together to fight poppy cultivation. The ISAF rep stated that
ISAF is implementing the NATO Budapest decision on use of military
forces in CN. He said ISAF will only act in coordination with GIRoA
and when there is a clear linkage between narcotics and the
insurgency.

ANTI-CORRUPTION


KABUL 00003206 003 OF 003


11. (SBU) Head of the High Office for Oversight for Anti-Corruption
(HOO) Osmani reported on progress in the three months since his
office was created. He discussed the need to partner with other
Afghan agencies and take advantage of the anti-corruption mood by
developing a comprehensive public education campaign. He said that
raising standards of integrity requires a long-term effort and
ownership by the Afghan people. HOO would lead but not command, and
would hold itself to the highest standards while connecting to the
wider IC. UN SRSG Eide commended HOO on its rapid progress in
getting started. The World Bank rep commented that other short-term
action was needed to show the HOO commitment, including follow-up on
important audits of government agencies conducted in recent years
and implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency
Initiative.

SENIOR APPOINTMENTS

12. (U) Senior Appointments Panel member Ms. Sabri described the
activities of the panel over the past two years. The paper she read
from has been emailed to SCA/A.

AID EFFECTIVENESS AND DONOR COORDINATION

13. (SBU) UNAMA Aid Effectiveness Unit chief (and USAID secondee)
Mark Ward briefed on his efforts to strengthen UNAMA's role in
aligning donors' support of the ANDS. He said UNAMA would launch
donor coordination initiatives in five areas initially: agriculture,
private sector development, capacity building, education/vocational
training, and electricity. UNAMA and the GIRoA would be calling
donor meetings in these sectors to develop plans. On aid
effectiveness Ward urged donors to increase procurement of Afghan
goods and services in their assistance programs. Greater local
procurement, he said, would drive quality and safety improvements of
Afghan products and help develop the Afghan private sector.

WOOD

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