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Cablegate: Finland: Preview of Eu Informal Defense Ministers'

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DE RUEHHE #0990/01 2700920
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P 270920Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2534
INFO RUCNMEU/EU INTEREST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 0920
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L HELSINKI 000990

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/25/2016
TAGS: PREL PGOV NATO EUN FI
SUBJECT: FINLAND: PREVIEW OF EU INFORMAL DEFENSE MINISTERS'
MEETING


Classified By: PolChief Gregory D. Thome, for reasons 1.4
(B) and (D)

1. (SBU) Summary. The Oct. 2-3 informal EU defense
ministers' meeting will focus on operations in Bosnia, Sudan,
and Congo; review the EU's force catalogue and the state of
civil-military coordination; and discuss the European Defense
Agency's (EDA) long term planning scenarios. NATO SYG de
Hoop Scheffer and UN Special Envoy Martti Ahtisaari will
brief on EU-NATO cooperation and the Kosovo status talks,
respectively. The final session will be devoted to European
(but non-ESDP) military support to UNIFIL in Lebanon. End
summary.

2. (U) Emboffs and DATT called on Finnish MFA Counselor for
EU and ESDP Issues Mikko Kinnunen and Defense Ministry Policy
Director Pauli Jarvenpaa on September 25 to obtain a preview
of the EU's informal defense ministerial meeting to be held
Oct. 2-3 in Levi, Finland.

Bosnia

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3. (SBU) The informal defense ministerial will open Oct. 2
with a session on current ESDP operations in Bosnia, Sudan
and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Bosnia ministers
will aim at coordinating a drawdown expected to begin shortly
after the October elections. The EU acknowledges Althea to be
an overstaffed mission, although there is still some
disagreement among member states regarding the best "shape
and size," as well as how quickly the drawdown should occur,
Kinnunen said. (Britain and Netherlands favor reductions
while Germany is more cautious.) The Finns aim for a
coordinated, planned reshaping and hope to avoid a string of
unilateral reductions. Finland would see its forces in
Bosnia drop by 70 to about 100 on January 1 when they turn
control of a Finnish-manned command and control center in
Tuzla over to the Greeks.

Sudan, Congo

4. (SBU) Ministers will also consider the future of the AMIS
mission in Sudan which, while not technically an ESDP
mission, has been largely funded by the EU. Tentative plans
call for ad hoc British and Dutch financial support to float
the mission during November and December, after EU funding
runs out in October. The AU has agreed to add 4000 troops to
the 7000 already on the ground, but funding the mission for
early 2007 -- until the operation is hopefully turned over to
the UN -- will be a central concern, according to Kinnunen.

5. (SBU) The EU will evaluate the ESDP mission in the
Democratic Republic of Congo, slated to end four months after
the first round of elections (Nov. 29). Kinnunen noted that
an extension of a couple of weeks would not be problematic.
However Finland, Germany, and the Netherlands, in particular,
are under pressue to wrap the current mission up promptly
because the Dutch and German troops, as well as the Potsdam
control center, are slated to serve the German-Dutch-Finnish
EU Battle Group that goes on call on January 1.

Capabilities and Civ-Mil

6. (SBU) Ministers will likely approve the EU's 2006 Force
Catalogue for adoption by the European Council in November or
December. Jarvenpaa explained that the catalogue creates a
standardized list of capabilities volunteered by EU member
states for use in EU missions. The catalogue will allow a
comparison of the forces available with the forces needed in
order to carry out desired EU operations, with the hope that
EU members would step forward to fill any gaps revealed in
the comparison. On civil-military relations, Finland has
worked with the EU's situation center to develop
recommendations for information and, to a more limited
extent, intelligence sharing among civil and military units
in an operational area. Ministers will discuss the
recommendations with an eye to having the Council adopt them
in November. The board of the European Defense Agency --
which includes the ministers-- will meet on October 3 to
discuss the EDA's analysis of the threat scenario 20-25 years
hence and the crisis management tools that will be needed to
address those threats. The EDA is also expected to approve
the financing plan and priorities list for the next 3 years.

EU-NATO Cooperation

7. (C) The Finns hope to underscore the importance of EU-NATO
cooperation throughout the meeting. Jarvenpaa was visibly
pleased that NATO SYG de Hoop Scheffer would be attending the
first part of the ministerial and hoped that the Levi meeting
would set a precendent for NATO SYG participation. Kinnunen

noted that Germany planned to make EU-NATO relations even
more visible during its presidency and hoped that problems
with individual countries such as Turkey and Cyprus would not
impede this.

8. (SBU) Kosovo and Lebanon will also be on the agenda, with
ministers examining the future prospects for rule of law and
police training missions. An EU planning team was already
preparing a future civilian crisis management operation in
Kosovo, and the Council and Commission are considering the
appropriateness of such a mission in to bolster the Lebanese
government's administrative capabilities.

WARE

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