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Cablegate: Visiting Pacom Commander Admiral Fallon Makes Progress On

VZCZCXYZ0006
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUM #0646/01 2370020
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 250020Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY ULAANBAATAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0288
INFO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0018
RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW 0023
RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC//DHO-3//
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP:DSCA//
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC//J-5//
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2210
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2419
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5201
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1574
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS ULAANBAATAR 000646

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR MASS PREL PTER KPKO MG IZ PL
SUBJECT: Visiting PACOM Commander Admiral Fallon Makes Progress On
Mongolia's OIF Commitment; Observes Khaan Quest PKO Exercise

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.

Summary
-------

1. (SBU) PACOM Commander Admiral William J. Fallon paid his first
visit to Mongolia, August 19-21, at the invitation of Mongolian
Chief of the General Staff LTG Togoo. The Admiral's observation of
Mongolia's first-ever multinational peacekeeping training exercise,
Khaan Quest 06, and joint press conference with LTG Togoo, served to
underscore the importance the U.S. places on developing the peace
support capabilities of countries in the region. In his meetings
with the Minister of Defense and Prime Minister -- and in a
telephone call with the vacationing President -- Admiral Fallon
urged Mongolia to continue its commitment to OIF and to send a full
100-man contingent of peacekeepers in Mongolia's 7th rotation to
Iraq. The Admiral hand delivered a letter from SECDEF Rumsfeld to
DEFMIN Sonompil and responded positively to the Mongolian request
for new armored vehicles and machine guns to better protect its
troops in Iraq. END SUMMARY.

Comment
-------

2. (SBU) While too early to judge the outcome of the NSC meeting
later this month, during Admiral Fallon's meetings we sensed a shift
in the government's approach. We suspect that the Prime Minister is
under pressure from the President (and possibly the Speaker, who has
been a strong supporter of Mongolia's OIF commitment) to reverse his
July 7 decision and field a full 7th rotation. The President's
foreign affairs adviser has told us that the Prime Minister is
looking for a face-saving way to reverse the decision. By
addressing concerns about the safety and security of Mongolian
troops at Camp Echo, the provision by the USG of new armored
vehicles and machine guns may provide the Government with a
face-saving excuse for reversing its earlier decision to drastically
reduce Mongolia's OIF contingent. End comment.

Admiral Fallon Visits Mongolia August 19-21
-------------------------------------------

3. (SBU) PACOM Commander Admiral Fallon visited Mongolia August
19-21 to meet with Mongolian officials, encourage Mongolia's
continued support for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and to observe
the Mongolian-U.S. co-hosted Khaan Quest 06 multinational
peacekeeping exercise at Five Hills Training Center. He met with
the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defense, and Chief of the
General Staff Togoo and spoke with President Enkhbayar by phone.
Admiral Fallon also exchanged views over lunch with Members of
Mongolia's Parliament and visited a U.S. military-supported civil
affairs project.

Chief of Staff Togoo Outlines "Wish List"
-----------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Upon arrival the afternoon of August 19, Admiral Fallon
called on Mongolian Armed Forces Chief of Staff LTG Ts. Togoo.
Togoo said that the National Security Council (NSC) had not yet made
a final decision on whether to uphold or reverse the July 7 Cabinet
recommendation to reduce substantially the size of its peacekeeping
contingent in Iraq, from 100 men to "a few officers." He indicated
that the NSC would make its decision before the end of August. Togoo
also revealed that, contrary to earlier assertions, there were, in
fact, enough troops (with previous service in OIF) to field a full
100-man 7th rotation in September. Further in earnest, he stated
that pre-deployment training would begin after the 8/24 conclusion
of KQ 06, even in the absence of a decision by the NSC.

5. (SBU) LTG Togoo reviewed areas for cooperation and requests for
assistance, including: 1) regularization of the Khaan Quest
exercise, 2) establishment of a Mongolian liaison officer billet at
PACOM, 3) acceleration of Mongolia's Defense Reform (i.e.,
accelerate USG funding and technical assistance support), 4)
increased number of officer training slots, 5) ditto for NCO
training slots as well as additional support for the NCO training
program in Mongolia, 6) continued support for the upgrade of the
Five Hills PKO training center as well as for increased
international attendance, and 7) support for Military Hospital

Modernization, as President Enkhbayar had requested during his
September, 2005 visit to PACOM. Finally, Togoo reaffirmed an August
18 formal written request forwarded by the Ministry of Defense to
the Embassy, for new force protection equipment for Mongolia's OIF
contingent, including HMVVs and heavier weapons to replace the
out-dated and worn Russian equipment currently being used.

6. (SBU) Admiral Fallon took note of Togoo's first seven requests
and responded positively to the request for new force protection
equipment for the OIF contingent. (Note: Subsequently, Admiral
Fallon was able to discuss the request directly with General Casey
in Baghdad, who endorsed it. Embassy/DAO is working with Ministry
of Defense officials to complete the required equipment request
forms, with the expectation and understanding that the requested
equipment would be available in September in Iraq, should Mongolia
decide to send a full contingent of peacekeepers. End Note.)

Defense Minister Avers Mongolian Commitment to OIF
--------------------------------------------- -----

7. (SBU) In the morning of August 21, Admiral Fallon met with
Minister of Defense Sonompil. The Admiral handed over a letter from
Secretary Rumsfeld and conveyed the Secretary's greetings. He urged

SIPDIS
the Minister to support the 7th rotation deployment of a full
contingent of troops to Iraq. Admiral Fallon noted Mongolian
concerns, raised earlier by LTG Togoo, over the safety and security
of its contingent in Iraq. He stated that he supported the request
for new machine-gun equipped armored vehicles and heavier weapons
(machine guns) and had discussed the Mongolian request with General
Casey in Baghdad, gaining the support of the latter.

8. (SBU) In his response, Minister of Defense Sonompil stated that
Mongolia remained committed to its role in Iraq. "Having made the
commitment, Mongolia would remain until the end," Sonompil said. He
averred, however, that the "political opposition" in parliament has
raised questions about the government's ability to ensure the safety
and security of the troops in Iraq. "Given the worsening situation
in Iraq, the Cabinet had decided on July 7 to not withdraw but to
reduce the size of its contingent to "a few well-trained officers."
The NSC, however, would make the final decision. Sonompil said he
was pleased to hear the positive response to Mongolia's request for
new force protection equipment for its troops in Iraq and that he
would report this news to the NSC, noting that "this will be
important to persuading the NSC" to approve a full contingent of
troops. (Comment: We strongly suspect that Sonompil is responsible
in large part for the decision to reduce substantially Mongolia's
commitment to the OIF. He and other members of his political
faction/party -- a four MP breakaway group from the Democratic Party
-- have opposed deployment to Iraq from the beginning. He is being
disingenuous when he blames the "opposition" for forcing this
decision to partially withdraw. In fact, the "opposition"
Democratic Party has been a stalwart supporter of OIF and OEF.
During Cabinet discussions of the 5th and 6th rotations, then Prime
Minister Elbegdorj argued against those -- such as Amb. Bold in
Washington -- who wanted to pull back from Iraq. End Comment.)

Prime Minister Says NSC Will Decide
-----------------------------------

9. (SBU) In his subsequent meeting with the Prime Minister (also
attended by Minister Sonompil), Admiral Fallon noted that he had
delivered a letter from Secretary Rumsfeld and urged that Mongolia
continue its commitment to Iraq and deploy another (7th)
platoon-sized rotation. He noted the positive response to
Mongolia's request for new armored vehicles and machine guns and
expressed the hope that this would weigh favorably in the NSC's
decision.

10. (SBU) Enkhbold stated his support for Mongolia's continued
participation in OIF. He said that the Cabinet had taken the July 7
decision to send a "certain number of troops" to Iraq. Based on
consideration of proposals submitted by the MOD and the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MFA), the NSC would now discuss the matter and
decide. "If necessary," he continued, "the parliamentary standing
committee on foreign affairs and defense might have hold a hearing."


President States Support for Full 7th Rotation

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

11. (SBU) Admiral Fallon subsequently took a phone call from
President Enkhbayar, who is vacationing in a remote northern
province. The Admiral repeated USG concerns about Mongolia's
intentions in Iraq, noted the USG's positive response to Mongolia's
request for protective equipment, and urged that Mongolia send a
full rotation to Iraq. The President expressed his support for a
full commitment and promised to work with the other members of the
NSC in an effort to make this happen.

12. (U) Admiral Fallon has cleared this cable.

SLUTZ

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