Cablegate: Ambassador Thomas Schweich's December 3 Meetings
DE RUEHWR #2361/01 3461233
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 121233Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY WARSAW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5625
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0082
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 0153
UNCLAS WARSAW 002361
STATE PLEASE PASS TO INL/FO PDAS SCHWEICH
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AF KNAR PGOV PL PREL
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR THOMAS SCHWEICH'S DECEMBER 3 MEETINGS
IN POLAND ON COUNTERACTING AFGHAN POPPY CULTIVATION.
1. (SBU) On 3 December, Ambassador Thomas Schweich, United
States Coordinator for Afghan Counternarcotics and Justice
Reform and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in
International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, briefed a
roundtable of Polish government officials on the new U.S.
five pillar strategy for the reduction of poppy cultivation
in Afghanistan. The roundtable included representatives from
the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defense and was
organized by Jolanta Jacek, Deputy Director in the
Asia-Pacific Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The GOP was engaged and keenly interested in the Ambassador's
2. (SBU) Ambassador Schweich spelled out the new five pillar
strategy which details the U.S. plan to counteract poppy
cultivation and trade in Afghanistan through: I) an improved
information campaign; II) alternative economic development;
III) eradication; IV) interdiction; and V) judicial reform.
3. (SBU) Information Campaign: The improved information
campaign will focus on the use of Afghan teams to emphasize
to tribal leaders the negative impact of heroin addiction on
the Afghan population, Afghanistan's relationships with
neighboring countries, and the contradiction between drug
addiction and basic Islamic principals. This program has
been implemented in Balkh with success.
4. (SBU) Alternative Economic Development: Alternative
development encourages the introduction of more profitable
alternative industries, such as fruit trees or animal
husbandry. Additionally, this program will support efforts
to ensure that Afghan farmers have access to markets where
their crops will receive competitive prices -- for example,
by shipping products to the United Arab Emirates where market
prices are significantly higher than in local Afghan markets.
USAID has earmarked significant funding for these programs.
Also, new agricultural extension programs will provide
assistance to local farmers long after initial agricultural
training programs have ended.
5. (SBU) Eradication: While aerial eradication is the most
effective and least risky means of poppy eradication,
Schweich informed the GOP of the USG,s recent decision to
only advocate ground-based methods of eradication during the
spring 2008 eradication season. At present, the largest
areas of poppy cultivation are in the southern regions of
Afghanistan. These are not only the wealthiest regions of
Afghanistan but also form the largest base of political
support for Afghan President Karzai. While the temptation
for non-action on eradication in these areas is significant,
the USG wants to work with NATO allies to increase pressure
on the Afghan Government,s commitment to eradication. The
USG advocates increased force protection for eradication
teams to ensure their success and reduce the incidence of
negotiated eradication, which is subject to corruption.
While the United Nations believes that eradication levels
must reach 20 to 25% of the poppy cultivation to provide a
credible disincentive to cultivation, the current rate of
eradication in Afghanistan is at 9%.
6. (SBU) Interdiction: The United States will offer 340
million USD in aid to support improved high-value target
(HVT) prosecution capacity in Afghanistan. This is a
training process that may take several years to become
7. (SBU) Judicial Reform: Thirty newly-vetted judges and a
new Counternarcotics Justice facility have already improved
law enforcement, as exemplified by the 111 cases prosecuted
this year. The Rome conference raised an additional 100
million USD for this effort. Nonetheless, the biggest
challenges to judicial reform in Afghanistan remain the lack
of Afghan political will and allied unity in pressuring
Afghanistan into greater action.
8. (SBU) The GOP asked what the European Union can do to
encourage greater Afghan cooperation on counternarcotics, how
to increase cooperation and assistance levels from
Afghanistan's neighbors and from Asia-Pacific nations,
civilian vs. military participation in counternarcotics
programs (particularly eradication), the possibility of PRT
involvement in this program and the role of EUPOL. The
Polish representatives also expressed their impression of
lackluster EUPOL performance, and hope that this would be
improving with new leadership. Because the new Polish
government was just settling in, however, the Polish side did
not have many concrete proposals to offer with regard to
increased Polish civilian participation in Afghanistan.
9. (SBU) During Embassy meetings with Warsaw-based DEA
officers and LEGATT representative, Schweich discussed
opportunities for improved cooperation through training. DEA
proposed a joint training program for Ukrainian and Polish
working-level counternarcotics officials. Ambassador
Schweich urged a full proposal, indicating that there may be
limited funding available for such a program. Details of a
proposal will be sent septel.
10. INL/PDAS Schweich has cleared this cable.