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Cablegate: Afghan Presentation for Brazilian Military

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS BRASILIA 000437

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT ALSO FOR IO/UNP, SA/FO AMBASSADOR TAYLOR, SA/AR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREF AF BR
SUBJECT: AFGHAN PRESENTATION FOR BRAZILIAN MILITARY
OFFICIALS

1. (U) During a DATT-hosted 18 February dinner for key
military contacts, poloff, recently returned from an
Afghanistan TDY, delivered a graphic powerpoint presentation
on Coalition nation building efforts in that country. The
presentation focused on four themes: the overall security and
reconstruction mission of the US-led Coalition; the nature,
role, and skill sets of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams
(PRTs); the desperate needs of the Afghan people; and the
range of assistance being delivered to Afghanistan by the
USG. Brazilian attendees represented all three armed service
branches as well as the Ministries of Defense and Foreign
Relations.

2. (U) Questions during and after the presentation,
particularly from the professional military officers,
indicated a keen interest in how the Coalition was moving
from emphasis on counter-Taliban/al Qaeda combat operations
(Phase III) to greater focus on stabilization/reconstruction
(Phase IV). Attendees were struck by Afghanistan's low levels
of economic and social development, particularly in the rural
areas, and impressed by the range of institution building
programs already underway. Many were impressed by the
country's extensive poppy cultivation and acknowledged the
huge challenge of poppy eradication given the country's
poverty and lack of cash crops. One officer queried as to the
time horizon for rebuilding Afghanistan, implying a question
as to whether the USG had the staying power to finish the
job. Other questions concerned the logistical support behind
national reconstruction. Analogies with Iraq's political and
reconstruction issues were also raised, and some officers
later asked if a similar USG presentation could be delivered
to the Brazilian military regarding that country.

3. (SBU) Comment: Attendees displayed curiosity about the
Coalition's nation building efforts and appeared drawn to the
possible relevance of the Afghan experience to Brazil's own
future international missions. The presentation sought to
portray the U.S. mission in Afghanistan in its true light,
countering local misperceptions that the U.S. only cares
about its own interests and Coalition soldiers huddle behind
the wire in fortified compounds. While there is little
likelihood Brazil will contribute to efforts in Afghanistan
at this time, the military desires to learn more about the
situation there. In light of Brazil's current seat on the
UNSC and the internal GOB review of Brazil's future
peacekeeping efforts, particularly in Africa, poloff
suggested the GOB consider having a team go to Afghanistan.
Officers affirmed that Brazil's armed forces, if ordered,
were ready and willing to engage in international PKO
efforts. However funding remains a big hurdle. Poloff will
continue to offer this presentation to other key Brazilian
audiences.
Minimized considered
Hrinak

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