Cablegate: Counterterrorism Action Group Input for Vietnam

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




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 14279

1. Summary: According to CTAG members (and representatives
from Switzerland, Spain, and Australia) at Hanoi-based
Embassies, Vietnam receives little attention and less
assistance, especially compared to high-threat Southeast
Asian countries such as Indonesia. Some members -- notably
Australia, France, and Japan -- provide some CT assistance
within the framework of law enforcement cooperation.
Duplication of effort is not a problem. Vietnam's legal and
investigative system is weak and requires capacity building
in virtually all parts of the
legislative/prosecutorial/judicial systems. In border
control and legal/law enforcement training, Vietnam
continues to have substantial unmet needs. End summary.

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2. US: The USG provides CT assistance to Vietnam primarily
by funding Vietnamese participation in CT-related training
at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Bangkok, and
through military-to-military exchanges with an emphasis on
CT themes. The USG funds Vietnamese military participation
in training courses and conferences on a case-by-case basis.
In 2003, CT related events at which Sr. Colonel-level or
above Vietnamese military representatives attended included:
-- December 2003: Environment Security and Counterterrorism
Conference, Manila;
-- August 2003: Consequence Management - Terrorism Course,
-- June 2003: Defense Environmental and International
Cooperation Conference, Bangkok. The primary subjects for
this conference were disaster relief, environmental
terrorism, and the medical aspects of environmental

3. US, continued: On the civilian side, our
counterterrorism-related assistance is mostly in the form of
training Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and other
civilian officials through ILEA in Bangkok. Over the past
year, the USG funded training for seven officers of
Vietnam's aviation authority to attend an airport security
course; seven MPS officers to attend a Post-Blast
Investigation course; and five MPS officers to attend a
Counterterrorism course. Future Post-Blast Investigation
and Counterterrorism courses are planned, and post will
continue to identify GVN candidates for those courses. In
addition, post sends GVN students to ILEA's annual Complex
Financial Investigations course, which is related to money
laundering and terrorist financing.

4. United Kingdom: The U.K. Embassy reported that, while
the U.K. does not have any current CT-related programs or
assistance directed at Vietnam, it is in the planning stages
of a program that would train MPS officers in better border
control techniques.

5. Canada: According to the Canadian Embassy, Vietnam is
not a priority country in terms of CT in Asia, and therefore
Canada is not providing CT assistance to Vietnam.

6. Germany: In September 2003, the German Federal Police
had prepared a program for a high-level GVN delegation that
was supposed to visit both Germany and France to review
operations in CT-focused ministries, but the delegation
returned to Vietnam without visiting Germany. Germany's
CTAG representative stated that it was possible that CT-
related assistance would be included in a bilateral
agreement on fighting crime currently under discussion
between Vietnam and Germany and scheduled to be signed later
in 2004; however, nothing specific was yet in the works.
Counterterrorism is specifically mentioned as an area of
cooperation in the draft agreement.

7. Russia: Although MPS exchanges with Russian counterpart
ministries have been a regular part of bilateral relations
for decades, it is not known whether there is a CT component
to these exchanges. The Russian representative at the most
recent CTAG meeting declined to discuss Russian assistance
to Vietnam, if any.

8. France: France has several CT-related assistance
programs in Vietnam. It has hosted MPS officers in France,
and in November 2003 conducted a CT and money-laundering
course for mid-level MPS officers in Hanoi. In April 2003,
France hosted a four-day CT/money laundering conference in
Hanoi to which it invited all ASEAN countries with the
exception of Brunei and Burma. The focus of that conference
was interagency cooperation and forensic methods of
investigation. France also carried out the above-mentioned
study tour of CT-related ministries for "senior GVN
officials" in September 2003, and intends to expand an
annual course on police tactical intervention (including
hostage rescue scenarios) to one month from its previous
length of two weeks. The month-long course will be designed
to help MPS train its rapid reaction force.

9. Japan: Japan's CT assistance to Vietnam is primarily in
the form of capacity building in the context of Japan's
regional CT efforts, focusing on the areas of immigration
control; police and law enforcement; aviation security;
customs cooperation; export control; and measures to prevent
terrorist financing. Japan pays the expenses of Vietnamese
attendees at its seminars and courses. Specifically, Japan
has provided assistance to the GVN in:
-- immigration: training courses and seminars on immigration
control administration; international cooperation on
immigration; and document examination;
-- aviation security: seminar to familiarize participants
with aviation security methods practiced in other countries
and ways to improve aviation security generally;
-- customs cooperation: The Japanese Embassy representative
reported that Japan has organized training courses in
"specific areas where technical cooperation is necessary" in
customs clearance and harmonization. Some of this is
commercial in nature, but the CT role of customs is a part
of these courses. Japan also conducts seminars on
international customs information exchange, focusing on the
collection and analysis of information for customs
-- export control: Japan held the 11th Asian Export Control
Seminar in October 2003, which addressed topics including
WMD proliferation; development of export control systems in
Asia; and counterterrorism efforts. Japan also included
Vietnam in the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
course "Administration of Security Export Controls" in 2003;
-- maritime law enforcement: JICA and the Japanese Coast
Guard jointly held the course "Training Course on Maritime
Law Enforcement" in 2003. The course, which had GVN
participants, focused on investigation of crimes at sea,
piracy, narcotics trafficking, people smuggling, and arms
trafficking. Japan has also accepted Vietnamese students
from "maritime security related agencies" for courses in
"Prevention of Free Movement of Terrorists at Sea";
-- crisis management capacity building: JICA hosted a
seminar to build the capacity of several Asian countries,
including Vietnam, with a view to enhancing crisis and
consequence management in case of a WMD attack. The purpose
was to provide the necessary knowledge to plan, develop, and
coordinate a comprehensive policy on international CT
cooperation and domestic CT measures;
-- international CT conventions: Vietnam participated in
Japan's October 2003 seminar on encouraging accession to CT-
related international conventions; and,
-- Vietnam also participated in the Japan-hosted "Southeast
Asia Counterterrorism Conference" in December 2003.

10. Italy: Italy is not engaged in bilateral assistance
programs with Vietnam at this time.

11. Australia: The Australian Embassy's CTAG
representative reported that Australia's regional focus is
primarily on capacity building for law enforcement
cooperation and border and maritime security. Though
Vietnam is not Australia's highest CT priority among
Southeast Asian countries, some programs are underway.
Recent and on-going CT-related cooperation programs in
Vietnam include:
-- supporting border management: Australia is providing
training and computer-based systems to aid entry-point
document fraud assessment and customs procedures;
-- secure trade: Two AusAID programs are designed to
strengthen CT capacity by (1) training the GVN to implement
the International Maritime Organization port security
measures, and (2) increasing awareness and capacity building
in cyber-security for computer emergency response teams;
-- military cooperation: Plans are in the works for
Australian-Vietnamese cooperation in CT response through
visits of Australian specialist military CT units.
Australia has also sponsored Vietnamese delegates to attend
relevant regional conferences relating to terrorism
consequence management, terrorist financing, border
security, and enhancing law enforcement cooperation and

12. Spain: Spain is not engaged in bilateral assistance
programs with Vietnam at this time.

13. Switzerland: Switzerland is not engaged in bilateral
assistance programs with Vietnam at this time.

14. European Commission: The EC is not engaged in bilateral
assistance programs with Vietnam at this time, but the EC is
exploring terrorist financing assistance in the context of
the ASEM/ADB Money Laundering Initiative.

--------------------------------------------- --------------

15. CTAG members have not conducted evaluations or
assessments of Vietnam's CT-related needs. Members agree
that this is necessary to effectively target assistance in
the future.

--------------------------------------------- ------------

16. Donor assistance to Vietnam in the CT field is very
small and mostly focused on facilitating the participation
of relevant GVN officials in international training courses,
seminars, and conferences. CTAG members did not identify
areas of overlapping assistance or necessary programmatic


17. The consensus among CTAG member countries is that
Vietnam does not appear to have an indigenous terrorist
problem, but rather is at risk from third-country nationals
who might enter Vietnam with the intention of committing a
terrorist act. One focus, therefore, should be on document
fraud and immigration control training, as well as equipment
to facilitate safe entry and exit points, such as explosives
detectors. In addition, there is consensus that Vietnam's
legal and investigative system is weak and requires capacity
building in virtually all parts of the
legislative/prosecutorial/judicial systems. In border
control and legal/law enforcement training, Vietnam
continues to have substantial unmet needs despite some
international assistance. The GVN definitely has the
ability to absorb and use training in these areas. CTAG
members also agree that a formal assessment of Vietnam's
needs is necessary to create an effective assistance

--------------------------------------------- -------

18. According to the Vietnam National Maritime Bureau
(VNMB), the GVN has a plan in place to implement the
International Maritime Organization's International Shipping
and Port Facility (ISPS) code by the July 1 deadline. The
VNMB is currently providing training for staff at ports and
on ships with the assistance of the Australian Government.
The VNMB notes, however, that the GVN faces financial
difficulties in purchasing equipment, such as container
screening machines, for port facilities in line with the
ISPS code.

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