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Cablegate: Mission Usnato

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNO #0456/01 3431004
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 081004Z DEC 08
FM USMISSION USNATO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2545
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY 0015
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 0668
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 1105
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV PRIORITY 0184
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 6215
RUEHVJ/AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO PRIORITY 0157
RUEHSQ/AMEMBASSY SKOPJE PRIORITY 3432
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY 5713
RUEHTI/AMEMBASSY TIRANA PRIORITY 4544
RUEHVB/AMEMBASSY ZAGREB PRIORITY 5520
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0871
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 0546
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L USNATO 000456
NOFORN
SIPDIS
BELGRADE PASS TO PODGORICA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/05/2018
TAGS: PREL NATO MARR ECON PGOV UN XG XA AF GG UP
RS
REF: A. USNATO 447
B. USNATO 448

Classified By: CDA S. REID FOR REASONS 1.4(B) AND (D)

1. (C/NF) SUMMARY: The two-week long communique drafting
session for the December 2-3 NATO Foreign Ministerial was a
difficult and, at times, contentious affair. Two issues cast
a long shadow over the negotiations: how to handle the
Membership Action Plan applications of Georgia and Ukraine
and how to address NATO-Russia relations. Ukraine and
Georgia was discussed by PermReps outside the framework of
the rest of the communique and was only finally settled by
ministers. NATO-Russia was discussed by the communique
drafters, but the inability to agree a way forward meant that
it too was only resolved following a ministerial discussion.
The negotiations also highlighted ongoing problems in our
relationships with two key Allies: Germany and France.
Germany demonstrated once again that it is strategically in a
different place than the U.S. (and the UK) on a wide range of
issues. These differences are further exacerbated by German
FM Steinmeiers efforts to appeal to the German domestic
audience as he gears up for his election challenge to
Chancellor Merkel. While the French were more pragmatic than
the Germans on some issues, two interrelated trends--their
need to defend to the end statements by their mercurial
president and their need to defend (and try to get NATO to
accept unconditionally) decisions of the EU presidency--meant
that they had extremely rigid and unhelpful instructions on
issues such as NATO-Russia, Kosovo, piracy, and comprehensive
approach. While the birthing was difficult and often
painful, we believe the resulting communique (reftels)
represents significant progress on a number of U.S.
initiatives, such as missile defense. Equally important, the
willingness of Allies to eventually compromise and find
diplomatically ambiguous language for the Ukraine/Georgia and
NATO-Russia sections shows that Allies are finally ready to
move past our differences for now on these issues. END
SUMMARY

UKRAINE/GEORGIA
---------------

2. (C/NF) Initial attempts by the U.S. and UK to find
compromise language on Ukraine and Georgia which would shift
many of the reform tools currently found in the Membership
Action Plan to the NATO-Ukraine Commission and NATO-Georgia
Commissions, while leaving ambiguous whether or not they
would eventually need to go through MAP, were initially
strongly rebuffed by Germany. Berlin was insisting that it
could only accept language which made clear that the two
countries still had to go through MAP. Germanys strongest
support was from the BENELUX countries. France played a more
moderate role on this issue, willing to accept a compromise
proposal from the Secretary General which Germany said it
could not accept. The final compromise--which moved tools to
the two commissions "without prejudice to further decisions
which must be taken about MAP"--was only reached following
ministerial discussion. There is, thus, creative ambiguity
on whether MAP will still be required for these two
countries, while moving us forward on the more important
issue of providing support and assistance to these countries
as they move along the reform path.

RUSSIA
------

3. (C/NF) As expected, there was a fundamental divide
between Allies on the approach to Russia. France posed
serious issues to reaching a compromise on the Russia
language, insisting it reflect EU language and the EUs
understanding of Russian fulfillment of its obligations under
the ceasefire agreements with Georgia. Paris would also only
allow carefully crafted language regarding Geneva talks,
refusing until the last minute any reference to access for
monitors. Polish persistence on a reference to the Russian
threat of missiles in Kaliningrad succeeded at the last
moment. The U.S. pushed for strong language throughout the
section on relations with Russia (i.e. a reference to Russian
assertion of a sphere of influence) and was supported
strongly by Canada, the Czech Rep., Eastern European Allies
(minus the Slovak Republic and Hungary) and the Baltic
countries. A response to President Medvedevs European
security proposal was included in the beginning of the
communiqu. The language prompted disagreements, with France
refusing a reference to the importance of maintaining the
existing European security "framework" in the paragraph and
Germany and Italy insisting "future dialogue" references be
included, suggesting they wanted to be more flexible in their
approach to this issue. The U.S. achieved last minute success
in including the phrase "within this framework" and an
explicit indication that dialogue on the Medvedev proposal
would take place within the OSCE.

AFGHANISTAN
-----------

4. (C/NF) Due to Afghanistan being NATOs top priority ,
there was a lot of dialogue with the only significant
resistance in the area of counter-narcotics (C-N). As
expected, Germany pushed hard to keep any C-N language out of
the text, highlighting that they did not want or need to
reaffirm the Defense Ministers decisions from Budapest. The
other main line of resistance was on providing the proper
resources for the efforts in Afghanistan. Belgium, with
German and Dutch support, obstructed positive language on the
Afghan National Army (ANA) Trust Fund expansion to include
sustainment costs, and several nations ) including the
Netherlands and Germany ) tried to weaken language aimed at
providing "the necessary resources." Italy also led an effort
to highlight reconciliation while Canada (unsuccessfully)
pushed hard for NATO - as NATO and not bilateral nations )
to do more police training, a traditional French/EU third
rail issue.

NATO-EU, PIRACY AND COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH
------------------------------------------

5. (C/NF) The trifecta of these issues highlighted the
tension and lack of trust between Turkey and EU member
Allies, particularly France and Greece. After several days of
intensive behind the scenes work on the NATO-EU paragraph,
France tabled a proposal that was able to stand with
high-level negotiations to ensure references were included on
piracy, and a strengthened EU defense capability, as well as
coded language about Turkish concerns over European Defense
Agency access. On Piracy, Spain, France and Belgium attempted
to elevate the EU flag while the U.S., UK, Turkey and Greece
worked hard to keep some realism in the text. The major
contention was on EU members insisting that the NATO
operation be complementary to any EU efforts (and indeed NATO
only could do counter-piracy if working with others), while
Turkey and other Allies wanted to ensure that NATOs ongoing
operation was noted and there was not duplication if/when an
EU operation kicks off. On the Comprehensive Approach, EU
members led by France resisted references to cooperation
"within organizations," because it continued to insist that
NATO has no civilian capabilities. Turkey insisted on
references to "shared openness" and "more coherent
application of crisis management instruments" to hem in the
EU states and the U.S. battled for civil-military
coordination inclusion.

ENLARGEMENT, ALBANIA and CROATIA
--------------------------------

6. (C/NF) The highly-charged atmosphere around the
Membership Action Plan (MAP) for Ukraine and Georgia
discussion bled over into discussions on "open door" and
future enlargement mechanisms. Germany led a caucus of
nations (including BENELUX and Spain) insisting on cementing
MAP as the only process for accession, and tried to increase
the requirements and standards to be deemed worthy of
Alliance membership. Poland and others insisted on including
text on the Open Door policy. Additionally, the Netherlands
insisted upon specific ICTY language and tried to pin Croatia
down on increasing efforts in order to help with Dutch
accession ratification. The U.S. attempted to keep the "open
door" clearly open while others tried to close it. Some
(Germany and the BENELUX) even tried unsuccessfully to add a
screen door, too.

KOSOVO
------

7. (C/NF) Those Allies who have not recognized Kosovo yet,
particularly Spain and Romania, posed serious obstacles to a
compromise on the Kosovo text. The two opposed initial
attempts to use UN language in the paragraph (i.e. "Kosovo
authorities" versus "authorities in Kosovo" which they
insisted upon until compromising in the final moments). They
also insisted that a line encouraging Serbia to cooperate in
the transfer of authority in Kosovo be balanced by language
encouraging the Kosovo authorities also to cooperate. A
reference to the "new tasks," the Kosovo Protection Corps,
the Kosovo Security Force and related trust funds was
particularly contentious among Allies, but ultimately
prevailed in tandem with a Romanian ministerial statement
that the new communiqu text did not change Romanias
national position on Kosovo recognition.

MISSILE DEFENSE and ARMS CONTROL
--------------------------------

8. (C/NF) Negotiations on missile defense text were linked
to the arms control paragraph, as the U.S. and Germany
adopted various tactics to ensure their preferred language
was maintained in the text. Norway joined Germany in being
particularly difficult on the missile defense language,
refusing to accept strong language or positive affirmation of
the defense minister tasking to complete analysis for a
comprehensive missile defense architecture. The reference to
the Czech and Polish agreements with the U.S. posed one of
the greatest obstacles, with Norway and Germany, joined by
Italy and Slovakia, adamantly refusing the notion of NATO
"welcoming" the agreements, insisting on more neutral
language of "note". A showdown with the Czechs persisted
until the final minutes on this issue, when a compromise was
reached, reading "note as a relevant development." Germany
insisted on strong language in the arms control text and the
U.S. refused to accept German additions until concessions
were made in the missile defense text and a reference to arms
control as a tool "part of a broader response to security
issues" was included in the arms control text.

WESTERN BALKANS
---------------

9. (C/NF) Allies were torn on language regarding NATOs
response to Montenegros request for MAP but only because of
how they wanted to embed repetitive references to MAP in the
text. Really only the U.S. and Slovenia were in favor of even
remarking on Montenegros interest in further developing
Euro-Atlantic ties. Occasional Montenegro-supporter Hungary
was silent, probably because of their observation that
Germany, to whom they often defer at NATO, so resisted the
Montenegrin mention. The UK and France also considered
Montenegros aspirations sincere, but unconvincing because of
Podgoricas immature institutions. Portugal offered a
compromise Allies found acceptable, drawing on the "without
prejudice" language agreed by ministers for Ukraine and
Georgia. A divide emerged among Allies on how welcoming
NATOs response should be, with Germany, Spain, Norway,
Netherlands and others opposed to excessively positive
language and Slovenia, Turkey, Hungary and others in favor.
10. (C/NF) The U.S. and the U.K. made a strong case for firm
language on Bi-Hs current political situation and was able
to strike a balance with Allies, such as Hungary and Italy,
which wanted to be more positive in tone. Allies varied in
their approach to Serbia, with Italy, Hungary and Norway
proposing language praising the Euro-Atlantic direction in
which Belgrade has begun to head and the U.S. cautioning on
drawing public attention to Belgrades emerging Euro-Atlantic
aspirations. The Dutch proved very demanding on language in
the Serbia section, refusing "to offer Serbia more than it
has asked for" and holding a hard line against "undue praise
for Serbia,"--as advocated by Hungary, Norway, and
Italy--regarding developments in the ICTY.
REID

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