Cablegate: German Out-of-Area Deployment Update

DE RUEHRL #1539/01 2250542
R 130542Z AUG 07




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: German Out-Of-Area Deployment Update

REF: A) Berlin 2634, B) Berlin 1428

1. (SBU) As of early August, Germany had 7,597 military personnel
(compared to 7,438 in mid-May) in out-of-area deployments. All
military out-of-area (OOA) deployments, with the exception of those
in support of UN observer missions, require parliamentary approval.
A law regulates the parliamentary process, allowing expedited
procedures only for non-controversial deployments. What follows is
a brief run-down on Germany's current OOA deployments. (Note: OOA
deployments are defined as deployments outside the territory of the
NATO member states. End Note)

--------------------------------------------- -
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
--------------------------------------------- -

2. (SBU) The Bundeswehr currently has 3,414 military personnel
operating under ISAF in Afghanistan, based on two separate
parliamentary mandates. One is the general mandate covering
Germany's ISAF deployment, with a ceiling of 3,000 troops. The
other is a supplementary mandate that covers the deployment of six
Tornado reconnaissance aircraft, with a ceiling of 500 troops.
Germany has been active in ISAF since the operation's creation in
January 2002. The deployment of the Tornados is a relatively new
German contribution to ISAF, approved by the parliament in March.
The current ISAF and Tornado mandates both expire October 13.

3. (SBU) While the general ISAF mandate is expected to be renewed
this fall for another year with little difficulty, extension of the
Tornado mandate could be prove to be more controversial. Some
German politicians oppose the Tornado deployment for fear the
aircraft could be associated with offensive operations in the south
of Afghanistan that lead to civilian casualties. It is not yet
clear whether the government will seek to renew the Tornado mandate
for a full year or just another six months. It is also not clear
whether the government will keep the ISAF and Tornado mandates
separate or seek to integrate them into one, single ISAF mandate.

4. (SBU) Germany currently commands ISAF's northern region
(RC-North), where it leads two of the five Provincial Reconstruction
Teams (Kunduz and Feyzabad) as well as the Forward Support Base in
Mazar-E-Sharif. The ISAF mandate limits normal Bundeswehr
operations to Kabul and RC-North, but allows temporary deployments
to other parts of the country on a case-by-case basis. In early
May, at the request of ISAF, Defense Minister Jung approved the
temporary deployment (three to four weeks) of a three-man
psychological operations team to southern Afghanistan. German radio
operators have also been deployed temporarily to provide
communication support to Regional Command South in Kandahar.
Meanwhile, the Tornado mandate allows the reconnaissance aircraft to
operate throughout Afghanistan.

Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)

5. (SBU) The parliamentary mandate for OEF allows the deployment of
up to 1,800 personnel. Currently, there are 244 sailors (247 in
May) operating in the Horn of Africa under OEF. In Afghanistan, the
mandate provides for the deployment of up to 100 German Special
Forces (KSK). Reportedly, no KSK have been deployed to Afghanistan
under OEF in more than two years, leading some politicians to
question the utility of maintaining this part of the mandate.
Because of wide-spread misperceptions of OEF as a strictly combat
operation that is responsible for civilian casualties, the renewal
of the Afghanistan portion of the OEF mandate could prove difficult.
The current one-year OEF mandate expires November 15, a month after
the ISAF and Tornado mandates. However, current government plans
call for a single parliamentary debate on all three Afghanistan
mandates (ISAF, Tornados, OEF) in September. A parliamentary vote
on all three is expected on the same day in early October.

Kosovo Force (KFOR)

6. (SBU) Germany currently has 2,282 military personnel (compared to
2,308 in May) in KFOR, far below that allowed under the
parliamentary mandate (8,500). The mandate is extended
automatically unless there is a change to the UNSC Resolution
framework for the Kosovo Force. In the context of a debate of the
Kosovo status, the parliament extended the KFOR mandate on June 21
without any amendments.

European Union Force (EUFOR) Bosnia

BERLIN 00001539 002 OF 002

7. (SBU) Germany currently has 526 soldiers (compared to 810 in May)
in Bosnia as part of the EU's Operation ALTHEA. The mandate, last
amended December 1, allows up to 2,400 military personnel. This
operation extends automatically unless there is a change to its
underlying UNSC resolution. Security conditions permitting, the
German government has announced it intends to reduce its military
presence in coordination with its allies during 2007.

--------------------------------------------- ---
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)
--------------------------------------------- ---

8. (SBU) Germany leads UNIFIL's naval component and has 1,034
military personnel deployed (compared to 791 in May). The
parliamentary mandate, which has a ceiling of 2,400 personnel,
expires August 31, at the same time as the UN mandate. The German
government has already informally signaled its readiness, subject to
parliamentary approval, to lead the naval component for a further
six months, until March 2008.

Sudan (UNMIS and AMIS)

9. (SBU) Germany currently has 41 military observers (compared to 39
in May) in the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), monitoring the
implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The parliament
imposed a caveat barring military observers from going to Darfur
without prior consultation with the Bundestag Foreign Relations
Committee's chairman and ranking members. The mandate allows the
participation of up to 75 military observers. The current UNMIS
mandate expires November 15.

10. (SBU) While there is parliamentary mandate for the Bundeswehr to
deploy transport aircraft and up to 200 troops in support of the
African (Union) Mission in Sudan (AMIS), this mandate has gone
practically unused in the last year, with the AU requesting only
sporadic assistance from Germany. The current six-month AMIS
mandate expires December 14.

11. (SBU) While welcoming passage of UNSCR 1769, the government has
ruled out additional troops or assets for the new hybrid UN/AU
force, beyond the limits in the existing UNMIS and AMIS mandates.
The government is likely to resist taking on any additional military
commitments in Dafur or elsewhere until after the Afghanistan (ISAF,
Tornado and OEF) mandates are safely renewed in October.

Georgia (UNOMIG)

12. (SBU) Germany has been part of the UN Observer Mission in
Georgia (UNOMIG) since 1998 and currently has 11 personnel stationed
there, most of whom are medical personnel and military observers.
To the meet a UN request for additional medical personnel, the
German cabinet decided August 8 to raise the personnel ceiling for
this mission from 13 to 20.

Other minor deployments

13. (SBU) Two military observers serve in Ethiopia and Eritrea for
the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). One
German military observer is seconded to the United Nation Assistance
Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The Bundeswehr has seconded 41
military personnel to Strategic Medical Evacuation
(STRATAIRMEDEVAC), for which no parliamentary mandate is required,
as it is not defined as an armed deployment and the aircraft are on
stand-by in Germany.

© Scoop Media

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