Cablegate: Delivering On Nato's Promise to Afghanistan -
DE RUEHHE #1157 3191140
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 151140Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2747
C O N F I D E N T I A L HELSINKI 001157
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/15/2016
TAGS: PREL MARR MOPS NATO PINS
SUBJECT: DELIVERING ON NATO'S PROMISE TO AFGHANISTAN -
REF: SECSTATE 186256
Classified By: POLCHIEF GREGORY THOME FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)
1. (SBU) PolChief delivered subject demarche to Kimmo
Lahdevirta, Director of the Finnish MFA's Office of
Security Policy. Lahdevirta expressed appreciation for US
efforts to keep partners informed as the Riga NATO Summit
approaches, and welcomed the fact that Afghanistan will
feature prominently on the Summit agenda.
2. (C) Lahdevirta noted that Finland's commitment to the
NATO/ISAF mission in Afghanistan remains solid "through the
end of 2008 and beyond." Finland currently has about 105
troops in five locations in Northern Afghanistan, with the
bulk of them serving in the Swedish-led PRT at Mazar-al-
Shariff and the Norwegian-led PRT at Meymenah. The only
change Finland is currently contemplating would be to
increase its forces at those two locations by consolidating
the small numbers of soldiers it currently has remaining in
Kabul and two other locations. No decision on such a move
has yet been made, and it would be carefully coordinated
with other ISAF partners.
3. (C) Lahdevirta also commented on the issues of caveats
and PRT leadership. He noted that Finland has no formal or
informal caveats, and expected no changes to this posture.
As for PRT leadership, Lahdevirta said that Finland
currently has no intention of taking over leadership of
either of the PRTs in which it participates, mainly because
both Sweden and Norway have renewed their commitments.
However, Finland remains open to the idea of leading a PRT,
perhaps in 2009.