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Cablegate: Prt Chaghcharan: Semi-Annual Ghor Review

VZCZCXRO6242
OO RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #2149/01 1900605
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 090605Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8994
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 002149

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/FO DAS GASTRIGHT, SCA/A
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/DCHA/DG
NSC FOR HARRIMAN
OSD FOR SHIVERS
CENTCOM FOR CG CFC-A, CG CJTF-82 POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MCAP MOPS PREL PGOV PTER PHUM AF
SUBJECT: PRT CHAGHCHARAN: SEMI-ANNUAL GHOR REVIEW

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Ghor enjoys a stable security
situation overall; most current issues stem from local
land and tribal disputes. Pasaband and Taywara
Districts remain vulnerable to Taliban elements based
in Helmand, evidenced by several incursions this
spring. A shortage of ANA and ANP contributes to the
problem. The lack of infrastructure development,
primarily roads, hampers economic growth and isolates
the province for most of the winter. The slow pace of
development has angered many Ghor residents and
threatens the long term stability of the province.
Former Governor Afzali had worked closely with the PRT
and NGOs to improve security, governance, and
development, but his replacement by General Baz
Muhammad Ahmady has raised concerns in the Ghor
development community. End Summary.

---------------------------------------------
SECURITY: STABLE, BUT OPEN TO TB INFILTRATION
---------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) The security situation in Ghor is stable,
but recent Taliban incursions into Pasaband and
Taywara Districts highlight the vulnerability and
limits of the provincial government. There are no ANA
troops in Ghor and only 900 ANP, most of whom are
still being trained, need more weapons, and only
recently received vehicles. General Shaah Jahan
Noori, Ghor's ANP Chief, works closely with the PRT
CIVPOL and Police Mentoring Program (PMT) trainers and
has expanded the police training programs offered in
Ghor. The PMT, with Norri's support, created an ANP
training team qualified to instruct ANP staff in basic
police operations. The team now deploys with selected
Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams (OMLTs) and PMT
staff to train ANP personnel at the district level.
The district police chiefs and PMT report that the ANP
training team performed well in recent missions to
Dowlat Yar and Dolina. After prompting from PRT
police advisors, Noori moved more equipment and fuel
to the districts, a move that has increased the
district chief's law enforcement capabilities. Noori
continues to complain about police pay and pace of
reform, telling the PMT that his officers may strike
if reforms are not enacted soon. He believes too many
ANP personnel are being excluded and will not be
retained, and he wants some control over which
officers should be kept in Ghor.

3. (SBU) There have been no attacks on the PRT or
personnel (which operate throughout the province), but
low-scale local conflicts over tribal and land issues
remain a problem. These incidents create
opportunities for Taliban influence and permit
provincial power brokers to exert their muscle.
General Ahmad Khan Morghabi in the north and Dr.
Ibrahim Malekzada in the south are the strongest power
brokers. Their continued influence highlights the
limits of provincial authority. Ghor authorities lack
the means to move against their drug trafficking
activity or illegal weapons stockpiles.

--------------------------------------------- -
POLITICAL - NEW GOVERNOR NEEDS TO EXTEND REACH
--------------------------------------------- -

4. (SBU) The replacement of Governor Shah Abdul Ahad
Afzali with General Baz Muhammad Ahmady in June raised
concerns among an already anxious development
community in Ghor. Afzali was concerned about the
slow rate of development in the province and welcomed
greater NGO and PRT involvement. Residents of
Chaghcharan supported Afzali but pressed his office to
secure more assistance for the province. The line
ministries, which have few small staff, have limited
development funds, and were reluctant to request
additional support from Kabul. The Provincial Council
meets and has worked closely with the PRT and USAID to
formulate an initial draft of its Provincial

KABUL 00002149 002 OF 002


Development Plan. Ahmady's major challenge will be to
extend his authority over the province, increase the
population's support for the provincial government,
and secure more development assistance.

--------------------------------------------
ECONOMY - LACK OF ROADS, SKILLED LABOR SLOWS
DEVELOPMENT
--------------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Ghor is one of Afghanistan's poorest
provinces and is in desperate need of development.
The challenges are enormous. Poor road infrastructure
isolates the province for most of the winter. Most
residents have no access to electricity and the
majority work subsistence level agriculture. Few NGOs
work in Ghor, and the lack of skilled labor restricts
even small-scale NGO development plans. NGOs recruit
Herat or Kabul residents to fill skilled positions,
resulting in high staff turnover. Several NGOs are
trying to build Ghor's human capacity, but this is a
slow process. There are no large scale development
projects at this point and many residents are
frustrated with the central government and
international community for seemingly neglecting their
province.

6. (SBU) Ghor's stable security situation works to
its advantage by allowing the smaller projects, which
may be most appropriate given the small dispersed
population, to be implemented. PRT, NGO, and USAID
projects have created hundreds of jobs in Ghor, and
modest economic growth is visible in the province and
district centers. In Chaghcharan, dozens of new
houses are under construction. Shop owners report
that business is very good, with construction supplies
selling fast, but complain about the lack of
electricity and the need for more kamaz cargo trucks
to haul supplies from Herat or Kabul. The large
livestock bazaar in Chaghcharan is busy, and the
supply of livestock has increased after a harsh
winter. Farmers expect a good year.

7. (SBU) Ghor's stable security situation is also
reflected in a growing school population and increased
the demand for school tents, buildings, and teachers.
The Department of Education (DOE) reports Ghor needs
at least 240 school tents and 1000 teachers, but it
recognized the challenge of attracting qualified
teachers to the province. The DOE has hired hundreds
of temporary teachers to fill the void, but most lack
higher education and training. The DOE claims that
only 50 new schools have been built in Ghor and wants
NGOs and the PRT to make school construction a higher
priority. Two schools in the Saghar District were
reportedly burned in June - DOE and ANP say these
events, even if confirmed, are rare in the province
and they work closely to protect the schools.

-------
COMMENT
-------

8. (SBU) The lack of infrastructure development and a
skilled workforce are the greatest challenges facing
Ghor. Increased USAID and NGO funding will be in
place in 2007-08 but implementation will remain
difficult and slow. Sustained PRT- and NGO-initiated
development will continue to expand the moderate
economic bump in the population centers. The change
in governor could create political challenges but the
new administration inherits a functioning Provisional
Council and excellent PRT-government working
relationship. If Governor Ahmady is prepared to
support PRT and NGO development programs and works to
strengthen provisional authority the security, Ghor's
slow but steady progress will continue.
WOOD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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