Cablegate: Unifil Force Generation Update: Member States
DE RUCNDT #1570/01 2300157
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 180157Z AUG 06
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9891
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUCNISL/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5/UNMA// IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 USUN NEW YORK 001570
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KPKO UNSC IS LE
SUBJECT: UNIFIL FORCE GENERATION UPDATE: MEMBER STATES
PROMISE SHIPS, BUT FEW CAPABLE TROOPS
REF: USUN 1560
USUN NEW Y 00001570 001.2 OF 004
1. (U) Summary. During a meeting with current and potential
troop contributing countries (TCCs) to an expanded UNIFIL
force in south Lebanon on August 17, UN Deputy
Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown made an impassioned
appeal to member states to help secure a lasting peace by
committing forces to the mission now. He outlined the
mission's concept of operations (CONOPS) and rules of
engagement (ROE) -- and promised to distribute the draft
documents on August 18 -- and urged member states to review
the guidelines and make firm commitments within the next few
days. (Note: The CONOPS and ROE briefings were almost
identical to those described in reftel. End Note.) At the
end of the meeting, concrete offers for ground assets totaled
five mechanized infantry battalions (2 from Bangladesh, 1
each from Indonesia, Malaysia and Nepal), one engineer
company (Indonesia), an additional engineer company-plus
sized unit from France, and some border patrol units from
Germany. Several countries -- including Germany, UK, Greece,
Norway, Denmark -- offered naval assets as well.
2. (U) Summary cont'd. In response to pointed and repeated
questioning from the Egyptian and Indian PermReps on the
conditions under which UNIFIL would use force, Malloch Brown
observed that the Secretariat had crafted ROEs that are
designed to be "prudent and non-offensive, but robust." But
Malloch Brown emphasized that UNIFIL would not undertake a
large-scale disarmament of Hizballah. UN Department of
Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) Assistant Secretary-General
Annabi added that the UN expects "no arms in sight" in its
Area of Responsibility (AOR). USUN Ambassador Wolff praised
UNIFIL, GOL, and GOI efforts to implement UNSCR 1701 and
noted the USG would provide logistics, planning, and
intelligence support to the expanded force.
3. (U) Summary cont,d. During a bilateral meeting on August
17 with PM A/S Hillen and Ambassador Wolff before the TCC
meeting, Malloch Brown and DPA Director Michael Williams
noted that Israel's stated unwillingness to accept
contributions from countries with which they do not have
diplomatic relations was a serious problem. Malloch Brown
acknowledged that controversial Malaysian statements had
probably ruled out their participation in an expanded UNIFIL,
but argued that "we need to hold the line" with Indonesia.
In a separate meeting August 17 with an Israeli delegation,
Annabi also urged the GOI to reconsider Indonesia,s
participation, promising that Indonesian troops would be
under firm blue helmet command and control and assuring
Israel that the UN would take swift action in the event a
problem arises. End Summary.
Malloch Brown Appeals for Troops
4. (U) Malloch Brown began the meeting with an impassioned
appeal to potential troop contributors to help secure a
lasting cease-fire by committing forces to an expanded
UNIFIL. The UN officials then outlined the force's concept
of operations (CONOPS) and rules of engagement (ROE), and
promised to provide drafts of the actual documents to TCCs on
August 18. (Note: USUN will forward these documents to the
Department when received. End Note.) He asked member states
to review these guidelines and provide firm commitments of
forces to the UN in the next few days. Describing the
expanded UNIFIL as a truly multilateral force, Malloch Brown
also noted it should be comprised of personnel from a "core
group" of countries with supplementary contributions by other
TCCs as appropriate.
5. (U) Malloch Brown also made clear that UNIFIL should only
be expected to "keep the peace while longer-term solutions
are put in place." These solutions would have to be
political in nature, he emphasized, which is why SYG Annan
had dispatched a team to Lebanon and Israel and would soon
travel to the region himself. Malloch Brown argued that the
parties to the conflict "owe it to the member states" who
will contribute troops to reach a political solution.
Outline of CONOPS and ROE
6. (U) Malloch Brown, Annabi, and DPKO military advisor Mehta
continually referred to the need to create a "strong and
robust" force that could help ensure LAF control over the
USUN NEW Y 00001570 002.2 OF 004
south, address the humanitarian situation, prevent a
resumption of hostilities, and create a zone between the Blue
Line and the Litani River free of unauthorized armed
elements. Malloch Brown also noted that OP 14 of UNSCR 1701
calls on UNIFIL to assist the GOL, at its request, in
securing Lebanon's borders and prevent arms smuggling.
Annabi and Mehta then offered an outline of the CONOPS and
ROE of the force that was virtually identical to the
briefings they gave A/S Hillen on August 16 (reftel).
Although Mehta said he expects more comments on the draft ROE
and CONOPS from the UNIFIL Force Commander as well as from
certain departments within the Secretariat, Malloch Brown
suggested the drafts would not change considerably unless
member states demand changes.
7. (U) In response to pointed and repeated questioning from
the Egyptian and Indian PRs on the interpretation of OP12 and
the conditions under which UNIFIL would use force (whether it
would have to "enforce" the provisions of UNSCR 1701),
Malloch Brown observed that the Secretariat had crafted ROEs
that are designed to be "prudent and non-offensive, but
robust." He said the UN assumes that the political agreement
to which the GOL had committed itself -- that no arms would
be carried south of the Litani River -- would be respected.
Predicting that UNIFIL would not be confronted by "major
challenges" to this commitment, Malloch Brown suggested it
might have to deal with small groups that would attempt to
carry arms or smuggle them into the AOR. In this case,
UNIFIL would ask these groups to hand over their arms, and if
they refuse, would be authorized to use force to disarm them.
But Malloch Brown emphasized that UNIFIL would not undertake
a large-scale disarmament of Hizballah. Further clarifying
that the UN expects "no arms in sight" in the AOR, Annabi
also said the UN does not plan to actively search for arms
USG Offers General Support
8. (U) During his intervention, USUN Ambassador Wolff
commended UNIFIL, the Secretariat, as well as the GOL and GOI
for their efforts to support the cessation of hostilities and
begin the LAF deployment to the south. Noting that the
situation remains fragile, he underscored that member states
should seize this historic opportunity for long-term peace by
ensuring that UNIFIL is able to fulfill its enhanced mandate
quickly and capably. Ambassador Wolff said the USG is
prepared to provide logistics, planning, and intelligence
support to the expanded UNIFIL mission.
TCCs Offer Many Ships But Few Capable Troops
9. (U) Several delegates expressed interest in supporting an
expanded UNIFIL force, although only a few offered specific
commitments. Most said they wanted the opportunity to sift
through the CONOPs and the ROE before committing to
particular forms of support, particularly with regard ground
troops. Specific commitments are listed below:
-- a maritime &task force8 (NFI) for surveillance and
possibly a larger naval force big enough to patrol the entire
coast of Lebanon (pending Parliamentary approval). Also they
may provide some border patrol units, apparently to be
provided on a bilateral basis.
-- air and maritime support and an additional 200 troops,
possibly engineers. Also offered to provide another general
officer to assist with command and control.
-- will join the effort but offered nothing specific during
this meeting. The Israeli Mission in New York told USUN that
the Italian mission in New York had privately committed to
providing a brigade during an August 17 meeting.
-- up to two mechanized infantry battalions.
USUN NEW Y 00001570 003.2 OF 004
-- one mechanized infantry battalion and one Engineer Company.
-- two coastal patrol vessels and one corvette (pending
-- will likely join the effort but the need to study the
CONOPS and ROE first.
-- assistance currently being considered in Rabat, also need
to study the CONOPs and ROE.
-- one mechanized infantry battalion.
-- air reconnaissance support and one frigate for coastal
patrol. Also, the UK base in Cyprus will be made available
for UN use.
-- will maintain current UNIFIL level of up to 250 troops and
may do more after looking at CONOPs and ROE.
-- one mechanized infantry battalion.
-- will likely participate, need to study the CONOPS and ROE
-- maritime support no earlier than late Sep or Oct.
-- not decided yet but may provide some &modest niche
-- undecided. Need to look at the CONOPs and ROE.
-- use of an airport and a seaport. May do more but need to
look at the CONOPs and ROE. The Turks also told the Israeli
Mission in New York August 17 that they would provide troops
to focus on humanitarian, reconstruction, medical,
communications, and logistics needs.
-- not certain but will likely offer one frigate and one
-- undecided. Need to look at the CONOPs and ROE.
-- port and basing facilities.
Malloch Brown Previews Force
Generation Effort in Prior Bilateral Meeting
10. (SBU) During a bilateral meeting with A/S Hillen and
Ambassador Wolff before the session with TCCs, Malloch Brown
previewed his statement for the TCCs, noting that he was
determined to counter the growing press reports that the UN
USUN NEW Y 00001570 004.2 OF 004
had only a "fuzzy" idea of UNIFIL's new mandate and concept
of operations. He said that Annan wanted to move quickly to
establish "three or four" pillars to replace the French at
the core of an expanded UNIFIL. Malloch Brown suggested that
Italy, Turkey and India were key to maintaining positive
momentum in the force generation process and noted that he
had spoken to all of them - and the Germans - to "warm them
up" for the TCC meeting. He asked USUN to reach out to New
York delegations to encourage forward-leaning statements.
(USUN Ambassador Wolff subsequently made a series of calls
prior to the afternoon meeting to these key country
delegations. All stated they needed to review the CONOPS and
ROEs prior to making a commitment.)
11. (SBU) DPA Director Michael Williams noted that Israel's
stated unwillingness to accept contributions from countries
with which they do not have diplomatic relations (i.e.,
Muslim countries) is a serious problem. Malloch Brown said
that the Israeli statements had probably eliminated the
possibility of contributions from Malaysia (following the
statement by the Malaysian Foreign Minister suggesting
Hizballah needed to be re-armed), but Malloch Brown continued
"we need to hold the line" with Indonesia. "Beggars can't be
choosers." In a separate meeting August 17 between Annabi
and an Israeli delegation, Annabi also urged the Israelis to
reconsider the Indonesian offer, promising close UN
supervision of the Indonesian contingent.
12. (SBU) In his discussion with Malloch Brown, A/S Hillen
stressed that the expanded UNIFIL needed to be deployed
quickly, and represent a robust, capable force, in order to
effectively bolster the LAF. Hillen emphasized the
importance of a quick deployment, a comprehensive approach to
the mission, and a muscular interpretation of the mandate in
Resolution 1701. In response, Malloch Brown urged the U.S.
to play a lead role in providing assistance to the LAF, and
he repeated the plea for a "price break" on U.S. military
lift to potential troop contributors. "I've waived a number
of procurement rules to speed up the deployment," he said,
"but I can't pay you three-and-a-half times the commercial
rate for lift."