Cablegate: Ambassador Herbst Discusses Stabilization/Reconstruction

DE RUEHWL #0839/01 3362229
R 022229Z DEC 07





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Ambassador Herbst Discusses Stabilization/Reconstruction
Issues with GNZ Officials

1. (U) Summary. During a November 27 visit to New Zealand, S/CRS
Ambassador Herbst met with a range of GNZ officials in the
Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs, as well as police and
NZAID representatives to discuss his office's approach to
coordinating USG resources in post-conflict states. Herbst offered
to include GNZ officials in future S/CRS exercises. GNZ reps
welcomed Ambassador Herbst's remarks, noting that the Cabinet
Ministers on November 19 approved a whole-of-government approach to
NZ peace support operations. End Summary.

New Zealand Opts for Whole-of-Government Approach
--------------------------------------------- ----

2. (U) Ambassador John Herbst visited New Zealand on November 27,
and briefed GNZ officials on the role of S/CRS as a coordinating
office for marshalling USG resources and personnel to help in
reconstruction activities. Meetings included officials from the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade - notably the divisions
handling the Americas and the Pacific Islands as well as the
International Security and Disarmament Division), the Ministry of
Defense (where the Ambassador met with Admiral Jack Steer and
International Defense Relations Head Paul Sinclair), Jackie Goodwin,
Manager of the International Strategy and Policy office for the New
Zealand Police, and NZAID officials led by Global Group Director Don
Clarke. Policy Officer Richard Prendergast of MFAT's International
Security and Disarmament (ISD) Division noted that the Ambassador's
visit was particularly timely, as the Cabinet Ministers on November
19 approved a whole-of-government approach to NZ peace support
operations, and MFAT's ISD office has responsibilities similar to
S/CRS as the coordinating body.

3. (U) Ambassador Herbst briefed GNZ officials on the USG shift to
transformational diplomacy and consequent changes in deployment of
State Department personnel. The Ambassador explained that S/CRS is
one subset of transformational diplomacy and was established in 2004
in the aftermath of USG interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Due
to the complexities of nation building in post-conflict countries,
the Ambassador continued, the USG is looking for a different model
to coordinate the array of USG agency resources and personnel needed
for such challenges. The need is for a whole-of-government
approach. The UK and Canada have offices similar to S/CRS. He
explained USG-approved proposals for creating an Interagency
Management System and a Civilian Response Capability. The
Ambassador summarized recent meetings in Korea, Japan and China
where he briefed both governments on S/CRS activities. S/CRS has an
ongoing dialogue with the UN's Peace Building Support Office.

4. (U) GNZ officials welcomed Ambassador Herbst's remarks, and
discussed New Zealand's work in Timor Leste, the Solomon Islands,
and Afghanistan. NZ officials related that New Zealand's primary
role in each country is security and stabilization, but all have an
important civilian component as well. While internal New Zealand
government coordinating meetings occur, both in the field and in
Wellington, all agreed it was done on an ad hoc basis. Moving to a
whole-of-government approach will provide a more formal policy
framework for giving coherence to New Zealand's peace support
operations. NZ Police representative Jackie Goodwin noted that
police deployments overseas are still relatively new for the GNZ;
167 police are now overseas and there is demand for additional
officers. The MOD's Paul Sinclair added that New Zealand's
interventions have been militarily robust, but the military cannot
do police functions well nor can defense forces manage
assistance/development programs.

NZ Deployments in Timor, SI, and Afghanistan

5. (SBU) In Timor Leste, GNZ officials told Ambassador Herbst that
New Zealand has been involved since 1999 and all government agencies
are represented. There are roughly 180 troops and two helicopters
as part of the Australian green helmet contingent, three Defense
Ministry staff with the UN mission, 25 New Zealand police officers,
and the NZAID mission has both a bilateral and multilateral program.
There are regular meetings in Dili under the NZ Ambassador's
leadership but there are different sets of decisions made by each
respective GNZ element - the whole-of-government approach will unify
that process, explained MFAT officials.

6. (SBU) In the Solomon Islands, New Zealand plays a significant

WELLINGTON 00000839 002 OF 002

role in the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands
(RAMSI), which has a combined security force and civilian mission.
Similar to Timor Leste, the GNZ is represented on the ground by all
the agencies, but coordination remains ad hoc and decision-making
runs along separate agency lines. NZAID officials noted that their
largest bilateral program is managed in the Solomon Islands, where
NZ is working with Australia and other donors to improve the
education sector. Both Timor and SI illustrated to New Zealand that
stabilization efforts are not in-and-out scenarios, but long-term
security and civilian capacity-building commitments.

7. (SBU) GNZ officials see the whole-of-government approach
benefiting New Zealand efforts considerably in Afghanistan, where
the NZ military has been involved since 2003 in Bamiyan. NZ police
are present with the New Zealand-led Provincial Reconstruction Team
(PRT), but NZAID officials make two visits per year of 4-6 weeks
each. MFAT's Mideast senior policy officer David Irwin noted that
coordination was made even more difficult because New Zealand lacks
an Embassy in Kabul; Afghanistan is covered by their mission in
Tehran. Paul Sinclair/MOD said that Bamiyan, despite recent
security concerns, remains largely stable and supportive of the NZ
presence; the MOD hopes that NZAID will provide permanent staff but
NZAID officials were less enthusiastic, noting resource constraints
and lack of local capacity to build on in Bamiyan province.

Continuing the Dialogue

8. (SBU) Ambassador Herbst noted that S/CRS provides workshops and
exercises, and New Zealand might consider participation in future
S/CRS-sponsored programs.

9. (SBU) MOD International Policy Director Wayne Higgins asked
about general trip-wires or triggers that would prompt S/CRS
deployments. Ambassador Herbst responded that S/CRS had done a
paper enumerating triggers but stressed that any decision to engage
would be a political one. GNZ officials asked if they could receive
a copy of the paper. Herbst said he would check. He added that
S/CRS does not always envision being part of a military
intervention; there may be occasions where S/CRS would provide
assistance so the U.S. military does not have to intervene. Higgins
also queried the Ambassador regarding exit strategies and how S/CRS
would define "success" and the appropriate handoff to either a local
government or UN authority. Each country offers a different
challenge, and success may be tailored to what is feasible according
to varying yardsticks and cultural/historical traditions that meet
core USG objectives, said Herbst.

10. (SBU) Comment. GNZ officials appreciated very much Ambassador
Herbst's visit and presentation to relevant agencies and officials.
Post would appreciate receiving the trigger/tripwire paper to pass
to GNZ officials, if appropriate. GNZ officials would also
appreciate being kept appraised of S/CRS activities in which they
might participate.

11. (SBU) Ambassador Herbst cleared this message.


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