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Cablegate: Getting the Interior Ministry to Pay Its Police: Case Study

VZCZCXRO8792
PP RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #5593 3310745
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270745Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4262
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3299
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS KABUL 005593

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/FO DAS GASTRIGHT, SCA/A
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/DCHA/DG
NSC FOR HARRIMAN
OSD FOR KIMMITT
CENTCOM FOR CG CFC-A, CG CJTF-76 POLAD

SENSITIVE, SIPDIS

E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR AF
SUBJECT: Getting the Interior Ministry to Pay Its Police: Case Study
in Zabol

Ref: Kabul 5284

1. (SBU) Summary: Fixing the profoundly dysfunctional Ministry of
Interior (MoI) is a long-term project. We want to encourage Afghans
to look to their own ministries, and not to us, to resolve problems;
however, we find ourselves forced to intervene even in basic
administrative functions to prevent MoI incompetence from eroding
police morale and effectiveness. Paying ANAP recruits in Zabol is a
case in point. End Summary.

2. (U) During the Ambassador's visit to the Zabol provincial
capital, Qalat, to observe the November 6 graduation of the second
Afghan National Auxiliary Police class, several graduates, who had
been members of the now disbanded Afghan National Highway Police,
complained they had not been paid in several months, though they had
been patrolling the "Ring Road" continuously on the orders of the
Zabol chief of police (REFTEL). One patrolman loudly announced he
cared nothing for President Karzai nor for Afghanistan; he just
wanted the money owed him. If he didn't get it, he said, he would
quit the auxiliary police. His colleagues quickly registered their
intent to do the same.

3. (U) The Ambassador relayed this complaint to Karzai, who ordered
Minister of Interior Zarar Moqbil to make good on the arrearages.
Zarar dispatched a senior ministry general to Qalat with two-month's
back pay in cash for each of the former highway police.
Regrettably, the patrolmen now credit the settlement of their salary
complaint not to their own president, but to the intervention of the
Ambassador.

4. (SBU) This small incident demonstrates the MoI's inability to
execute even the most fundamental of administrative
responsibilities: paying its employees. This is not the first time
the Embassy, CSTC-A or Combined Forces Command - Afghanistan has had
to intervene to fix a problem that appears inexplicably beyond the
capacity of this ministry. Since spring of this year, Combined
Security Transition Command - Afghanistan (CSTC-A) has led a
top-to-bottom overhaul of the MoI's police function. The overhaul
extends to a competency review of all Afghan National Police (ANP)
officers, including, when necessary, replacing them, as well as the
installation and development of entirely new command and control,
management, personnel, training, logistics and pay systems. Current
systems are so dysfunctional and the managerial culture so negligent
that we expect the overhaul to take at least two years to produce
even a minimally competent ministry that kindles loyalty among its
junior personnel rather than anger at their seniors' habitual lack
of concern for their welfare.

5. (SBU) Although we seek to encourage the loyalty of the ANP rank
and file for their uniformed commanders and senior civil servants,
we will occasionally find ourselves intervening overtly - as in this
case in Zabol - to alleviate egregious personnel grievances for the
sake of maintaining the ANP's minimal security effectiveness.
Indeed, since policemen across the country are complaining about
chronic salary arrearages, we may find ourselves soon intervening
again. We will remain reluctant to do so as we seek to inculcate
among Afghan government employees and the country's citizenry the
habit of resorting first to their own ministries when seeking
redress for their grievances.

NEUMANN

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