Cablegate: German Out-of-Area Deployment Update

DE RUEHRL #1822/01 2711534
R 281534Z SEP 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 7,149 military personnel
(compared to 7,597 in early August) 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 3,075 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) For the coming year, the German government has decided to
merge the two mandates into a single, combined mandate, with an
overall ceiling of 3,500, but this will not involve any substantial
changes to the nature of the Bundeswehr deployment. The Bundestag
is expected to approve this new, combined mandate by October 12.
Because the Tornados require only about 200 troops, the merging of
the two mandates will automatically create extra headroom for the
Bundeswehr to take on additional tasks.

4. (SBU) The German government has announced its intention to use
this additional troop capacity to boost the Bundeswehr's involvement
in the training of the Afghan National Army (ANA). Some ideas under
consideration include expanding the current drivers and mechanics
school in Kabul into a logisticians' training center, cooperating
with France in setting up an NCO academy in Kabul and creating other
specialty military training schools in the northern region.
Assuming the stand-up of a new ANA brigade in the north, Germany
also plans to increase its contribution of embedded training teams
(OMLTs) from the current two to six.

5. (SBU) While the initial Tornado mandate in March was very
controversial - with a third of the Social Democratic Party caucus
voting against - support for the deployment has increased in the
intervening months. Many of the original fears that the Tornados
would be directly involved in combat operations have not been
realized. Nonetheless, the Tornado deployment remains controversial
in some circles, as demonstrated by the September 15 Greens Party
conference on Afghanistan, where the delegates opposed any combined
mandate that includes the reconnaissance aircraft. Still, the
expectation is that the new combined mandate will be approved by the
Bundestag with a comfortable margin.

6. (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.
However, MOD has thus far not allowed German OMLTs to accompany
their ANA units on deployments outside the north. Meanwhile, the
Tornado mandate allows the reconnaissance aircraft to operate
throughout Afghanistan.

Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)

7. (SBU) The parliamentary mandate for OEF allows the deployment of
up to 1,800 personnel. Currently, there are 228 sailors (244 in
August) operating in the Horn of Africa under OEF. In Afghanistan,
the mandate authorizes 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

BERLIN 00001822 002 OF 003

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.

8. (SBU) The government originally planned to have a single
parliamentary debate on Afghanistan and then to put all three
mandates to a vote on the same day in mid-October. However, the SPD
- the junior partner in the Grand Coalition government - has since
insisted on delaying the OEF mandate vote until after its October
26-28 national party conference. Contacts advise that the
government intends to reduce OEF troop ceiling to 1,400 in the new

Kosovo Force (KFOR)

9. (SBU) Germany currently has 2,438 military personnel (compared to
2,282in August) 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

10. (SBU) Germany currently has 483 soldiers (compared to 526 in
August) 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.

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

11. (SBU) Germany leads UNIFIL's naval component and has 830
military personnel deployed (compared to 1,034 in August). The
Bundestag extended the mandate on September 12 for an additional
year, with a reduced troop ceiling of 1,400 (down from 2,400). The
mandate authorizes the Bundeswehr to continue leading UNIFIL's naval
component until February 2008.
Sudan (UNMIS and AMIS)

12. (SBU) Germany currently has 38 military observers (compared to
41 in August) 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.

13. (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.

14. (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 this fall. This
reluctance was demonstrated most recently in Germany's decision to
forego participation in the new ESDP operation in Chad.

Georgia (UNOMIG)

15. (SBU) Germany has been part of the UN Observer Mission in
Georgia (UNOMIG) since 1998 and currently has 16 personnel (compared
to 11 in August) 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.


BERLIN 00001822 003 OF 003

Other minor deployments

16. (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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