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Cablegate: General Ward Proposes Bilateral Work Plan To

VZCZCXRO7675
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHLU #1233/01 3281137
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 241137Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3499
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0064
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0328
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//ECJ5-J8//

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 LUANDA 001233

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR AO
SUBJECT: GENERAL WARD PROPOSES BILATERAL WORK PLAN TO
INCREASE MILITARY COOPERATION

REF: A. LUANDA 1137
B. LUANDA 1135
C. LUANDA 1121
D. LUANDA 1126

1. (U) Summary: Deputy Commander EUCOM, General William
(Kip) Ward, proposed the drafting of a work plan to increase
the pace and scope of bilateral military cooperation between
the U.S. and Angola during his October 22-23, 2006, visit to
Luanda. The work plan will likely combine current
cooperation initiatives with U.S.-proposals for the ACOTA and
State Partnership programs and may include Angolan requests
for increased assistance in the destruction of small arms,
promotion of coastal security, English language training, and
health programs. The Angolans agreed to the work plan
proposal, though they have not yet agreed to specific
elements of that plan such as ACOTA or the State Partnership
programs. Embassy Luanda will write the first draft by the
end of December, clearing through EUCOM, State, and DOD, and
will forward to the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) soliciting its
input and approval.

2. (U) Ward,s visit received wide and positive media
coverage. The press accurately reported Ward,s intention to
improve the bilateral military relationship, offer capacity
assistance to the FAA, and forge positive personal
relationships with Angolan counterparts. Ward met with Chief
of the Armed Forces General Agostinho Nelumba Sanjar,
Minister of Defense Kundi Paihama, Acting President of
Parliament Joao Lourenco, and with American company
representatives from Chevron, Esso, and Haliburton. He was
accompanied by Ambassador Efird, EUCOM Political Advisor
Ambassador Yates, EUCOM officers, Embassy DATT and Embassy
notetaker. Ward,s visit was the first by a high-ranking
U.S. military officer since the visit of Deputy Commander
EUCOM General Wald in early-2004. We look forward to future
visits and regard them as extremely valuable in advancing the
bilateral relationship. End Summary.

Increasing Mil-Mil Cooperation with Chief of Staff and MOD
--------------------------------------------- -----

3. (U) Generals Ward and Sanjar discussed past, current, and
potential future cooperation programs for close to two hours
on October 23, 2006. They reviewed the successes of the past
year including IMET-funded training programs, ongoing
HIV/AIDS cooperation, and the late-2005 Medflag exercise,
whose banner still hangs proudly outside the Angolan naval
base. Ward proposed accelerating movement on ACOTA and
presented the State Partnership program. Sanjar agreed to
talk further on ACOTA (see reftel C), eagerly stated the
FAA,s interest in learning more about the State Partnership
program, and requested further assistance in the safe
destruction of small arms, English language training,
improvement of coastal security, and the creation of a
hygiene and epidemiology center. The epidemiology center
would improve FAA capacity to respond to epidemics such as
cholera, Marburg virus, and avian flu. In this endeavor, the
FAA welcomes both technical training from specialists as well
as donations of equipment. Both Ward and Sanjar agreed the
best way to advance the entire range of programs was to draft
a non-binding work plan. Ward proposed the Embassy and EUCOM
undertake the first draft that would then be passed to the
Angolans for their comments, input, and eventual approval.

4. (U) Sanjar further briefed Ward on the security situation
in Cabinda (see reftel B) including regarding FAA security
concerns for the upcoming elections in the DR Congo (see
reftel A). Sanjar informed Ward that the FAA is making
progress in creating two Angolan stand-by peacekeeping (PKO)
brigades ) one for SADC and one for ECCAS ) and plans a
third to act as a PKO training brigade. He added that the
FAA is open to assistance from the U.S. in additional
training and equipment for these forces. Ward, thanking
Sanjar for the briefing, emphasized that the U.S. seeks a
partnership and fully respects Angolan sovereignty.

5. (U) Ward,s meeting with Minister of Defense Paihama was
cordial, but brief due to the longer than expected meeting
with Sanjar. Paihama commented that he agreed with
&everything said by Sanjar8 and said the &new atmosphere8
of bilateral relations marks a good time for forward
movement. Noting the Angolans probably have more to ask than
to give, Paihama highlighted the importance the GRA places on
English language training. He closed the meeting by adding

LUANDA 00001233 002 OF 003


that he would see Ward in Benin at the Gulf of Guinea
ministerial where they could discuss further the relationship.

Acting President of Parliament Expresses Interest in US
Military Equipment
--------------------------------------------- ----

6. (U) Acting President Joao Lourenco, a three-star general,
gave Ward a briefing on the structure of parliament and
outlined legislative improvements made by the ruling MPLA
party. One result, Lourenco claimed, was that the annual
budget, which had regularly been passed in the spring of each
budget year, was now being approved before the end of
December.

7. (U) Lourenco asked the US delegation why Angola cannot
buy American military equipment. The Ambassador noted that
Angola does actually buy American military equipment, but
tends to do so through third parties such as the Israelis.
The Ambassador added that Angola would be eligible for
purchases of many types of US military equipment and that
purchasing directly would likely save money. Lourenco also
asked how the US will conduct training for the FAA
considering that the latter operates former Soviet military
hardware. Ward replied that US training is focused on
capacity building and the improvement of procedures and
management; therefore, it is not equipment-specific.

American Petroleum Company Talk Security, China,
--------------------------------------------- ---

8. (U) American company representatives from Chevron, Esso,
and Haliburton told Ward, in an informal briefing at the
Ambassador,s residence, that the greatest risk to future oil
security in Angola is political instability. Representatives
added that they did not feel they were at great risk under
current circumstances. The representatives conceded that
their assets are currently defenseless and are therefore soft
targets, but rejected comparisons of Angola to Nigeria.
Nigeria, they asserted, is a volatile mix of religions and
ethnicities, whereas Angola is predominately Catholic with an
emphasis on national identity rather than tribal identity.
Angolans, they added, are also exhausted of war, violence,
and kidnappings and are currently content to allow a
trickle-down approach to distributing the oil wealth.

9. (U) Representatives were unconcerned about Chinese
involvement in the market. Angolans, they said, are likely
to become increasingly hostile to Chinese workers as it
becomes apparent the Chinese intend to immigrate rather than
stay as temporary guest workers. They added Angola feels
overcharged for Chinese unskilled labor with prices
approaching that of skilled western expatriate workers. The
representatives claimed Angolan perception of western
companies benefits from corporate citizenship projects and
higher percentages of Angolan labor. For example, 70 percent
of Haliburton,s workers are Angolan. Nonetheless,
representatives noted that obtaining skilled local labor
within the country is difficult. Instead, American companies
run ongoing recruitment programs abroad hoping to attract the
return of Angolans.

10. (U) The representatives were cautiously optimistic for
the future of Angola. Government investments need to be made
in education and health, which the companies themselves are
assisting with their corporate responsibility programs. The
growth of small and medium-sized enterprises is important,
they added, as well as the development of increased
manufacturing capability. Creation of a middle class is the
real essential to insuring against the risk of political
instability.

Comment
-------

11. (U) The Ward visit appeared to be an unqualified
success. The EUCOM delegation was warmly received by GRA
officials; press coverage was positive, accurate, and wide;
the FAA was receptive to our offers of new assistance
programs and requested more of our current training; and
military figures who had previously shown us a cold shoulder
were noticeably more receptive. Follow-up on the cooperation
work plan is critical to making this apparent success a
concrete one.


LUANDA 00001233 003 OF 003


12. (U) Quick advances will not come easy, however. Our
relationship will likely move forward unevenly due to
competing interests within the GRA and the tendency for even
routine matters to be relegated to the highest level of
decision-making. The FAA prides itself on being one of the
most capable militaries on the continent, has aspirations for
further professionalization, and recognizes the U.S. has much
to offer in this regard. General Ward rightly approached the
FAA as an equal, not a junior, partner. Proceeding as
partners, and recognizing the FAA,s perceptions of its own
national interests, we are more likely to be able to forge an
effect partnership that leads to better regional security, an
increasingly capable and reliable counterterrorism ally, and
a potentially active and effective peacekeeping force. End
Comment.

13. (SBU) Comment. On October 24, 2006, the day after
Ward's visit, Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos
transferred General Sanjar for his post as FAA chief of Staff
to Deputy Minister of Defense responsible for Administration
and Finances (reftel D). This move is one of the many
personnel actions taken by th Presdient on October 24 and is
likely the result of a long-standing request for transfer by
Sanjar. The transfer does not change the content of Sanjar's
message. End Comment.

14. (U) This cable was cleared by the EUCOM Deputy
Commander.

EFIRD

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