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Cablegate: Action Request: U.S. Weapons Release to Iraq -

VZCZCXRO8977
OO RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #3680/01 3101115
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 061115Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4239
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 003680

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IZ MARR MCAP MOPS PGOV PINS PNAT PTER
SUBJECT: ACTION REQUEST: U.S. WEAPONS RELEASE TO IRAQ -
AN/AVS-9 NVGS

1. (U) This is an action request. Please see para 10.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Country Team requests the immediate
release of AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) to the
Government of Iraq. The system will be used by the Iraqi Air
Force, the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Command and Coalition
Forces to train and equip a select number of Iraqi pilots for
night operations. This training will advance nighttime
operational effectiveness while reducing collateral damage
risk. The pilots are in training with Coalition Forces right
now, and the latter are projected to integrate this equipment
into training beginning in October 2007. The USG will fund
this estimated $1.5M acquisition through an ISFF Funded
Foreign Military Sales case. END SUMMARY.

Description of Technology for Release
-------------------------------------

3. (SBU) AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles and provide high
quality binocular image clarity essential for safe nighttime
operations. They allow the wearer to select and clearly
identify the enemy and reduce the possibility of collateral
damage.

Rationale for Technology Release
--------------------------------

4. (SBU) The Iraqi Armed Forces are in urgent need of a
viable aviation night vision capability that will allow them
to safely and effectively support Iraqi Security Force and
Coalition Force night operations-particularly in conjunction
with Coalition Special Operations Forces. Release of
AN-AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles will greatly enhance their
ability to conduct counter-terrorism missions, improve
interoperability with Coalition forces, and improve their
ability to maintain their own defense and security. Fielding
a modern capable NVG that improves night vision capability
will also contribute to eventual Coalition advisory
transition of Iraqi aviation assets to independent operations.


Iraq Safeguarding Sensitive Technology
--------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Iraq has demonstrated the intent and ability to
protect sensitive, classified military technology since
working with U.S. and Coalition forces. An Article 505
agreement (signed by the GOI July 24, 2004) demonstrates
Iraq's commitment to protect grant defense articles and
technology similar to our standards. Additionally, a
Memorandum of Agreement for Compliance for the Storage,
Security and Inventory of Night Vision Devices was signed by
the Iraqi MOD, 18 November 2005. We will continue to mentor
the GOI on their protection of sensitive USG technology in
order to provide long-term cooperation with Iraq. We also
will obtain all necessary formal agreements with the GOI
before transferring any sensitive equipment or technology.
Lastly, we will continue to carry out a robust end-use
monitoring (EUM) through the GOLDEN SENTRY program.

Anticipated Reaction from Neighboring Nations
---------------------------------------------

6. (SBU) We do not anticipate the release of AN/AVS-9 Night
Vision Goggles to the Government of Iraq to adversely affect
the regional balance of power or cause negative reactions
from neighboring nations, as this system is already fielded
in many countries of the region.

Iraq's Political Importance to the Region
-----------------------------------------

7. (SBU) A stable, democratically-elected Iraqi government,
capable of protecting its people and sovereignty, and
remaining at peace with its neighbors is one of the USG's
highest priorities. The release and employment of AN/AVS-9
Night Vision Goggles will facilitate progress toward this
goal, advancing the Iraqi security forces' ability to
identify, target and carry out night operations against
anti-Iraqi forces while reducing the risk to self and others.

Source of Financing and Economic Impact
---------------------------------------

8. (SBU) This purchase will be financed by the USG using
Iraqi Security Forces Funds. The cost is estimated at $1.5M.
There is no significant economic impact anticipated to be

BAGHDAD 00003680 002 OF 002


generated by this sale.

Relevant Human Rights Considerations
------------------------------------

9. (SBU) There are no human rights considerations that should
preclude the release of the defense equipment to the Iraqi
Armed Forces.

Action Request
--------------

10. (SBU) We request immediate Washington approval for the
release of the AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles to the
Government of Iraq.
CROCKER

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