Cablegate: Fsc: End-of Round Winter-Spring-Summer 2008:

DE RUEHVEN #0197/01 2131427
P 311427Z JUL 08




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (SBU) Summary: The 2008 winter and spring-summer rounds
in the Forum for Security Cooperation were highlighted by
extensive discussion of the April 20 UAV incident in Georgia
and U.S. missile defense in Europe. Russia pushed several
CSBM proposals, including its rapid reaction forces
information exchange, but the FSC adopted only the decision
on considering national holidays when planning verification
calendars. Russia expects continued discussion of it naval
CSBM and Vienna Document-related proposals in the fall.

2. (SBU) Finland, the OSCE 2008 CiO, will chair the FSC in
the autumn, and has announced Security Dialogue presentations
on armed forces and human rights, SALW issues, violence and
development, and the OSCE mission to Bosnia. Several draft
decisions and other proposals remain on the working group
agenda for the autumn session including end-use certificates,
SALW trafficking by air, and an update of the Code of Conduct

3. (SBU) U.S. goals were largely met, to include maintaining
Allied cohesion in response to Russian CSBM proposals;
arranging or U.S. presentations in the Security Dialogue that
advance strategic objectives; and substantial progress toward
a Best Practices Guide on UNSCR 1540. However, on a number
of issues the U.S. has found itself isolated or virtually so,
sometimes because of the lateness of its interventions. This
has often meant that the natural leadership position of the
U.S. has, by default, increasingly been assumed by Russia and
Germany. Washington, see para 35 for guidance requests. End


4. (SBU) Rapid Reaction Forces - There has been no further
movement in the working group on the proposal made by Russia
and Belarus for a recurring information exchange on rapid
reaction forces (FSC.DEL/545/06), although informal
discussions among the Russian, British, French, German, and
U.S. delegations have raised the possibility of alternative
language. This subject remains of critical interest to
France, Germany, and the UK, who have repeatedly asked for a
U.S. response to their counter-proposal to the Russian paper.
Mission still awaits Washington guidance on the Russian
reaction forces paper and Allied counter-proposal.

5. (SBU) Naval Forces - Russia has again proposed naval
forces CSBMs, little changed from a 1997 proposal, that would
require prior notification of, and invitation of observers to
certain naval activities. The measure would also include an
exchange of annual calendars on naval activities and allow
for reciprocal visits to naval bases. The U.S. and others
commented on the apparent lack of need for such a measure and
were generally skeptical while avoiding outright rejection at
the first discussion of the paper. The proposal will revert
to the working group agenda in the fall.

Vienna Document

6. (SBU) Chair's Statement on Timelines for Requesting
Inspections or Evaluations - Russia lobbied extensively for
the FSC chair's statement, made on June 18, that urges

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"strict" compliance with the timelines for requesting
inspections or evaluations under paragraphs 85 and 112 of the
Vienna Document 1999 (FSC/DEL/75/08/Rev.3). Russia objects
to the practice of pS making "early" requests, particularly
in cases where the inspected State's quota is usually
exhausted early in the year. The CPC will, at Russia's
request, compile statistics on compliance from May to
December 2008 with the Vienna Document timelines. Russia's
initial attempt to address the quota race with a decision was
resisted by delegations as requiring the Vienna Document to
be reopened.

7. (SBU) Quota Race Continued - Germany proposed measures to
"alleviate" problems arising out of the race for Vienna
Document inspection quotas on certain "countries of interest,
i.e., Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Georgia. These
included dividing the inspection year into three parts, each
with its own sub-quota, and beginning the year in April when
weather is more conducive to military activities and
inspections of them. The U.S. resists these proposals as
overly complicated and not addressing the real cause of the
race: oversubscription of quota on a handful of countries.
The U.S. recommended reliance instead on mutual forbearance,
sub-regional arrangements, and bilateral measures. Germany
withdrew the proposal after extensive criticism in the
working group and elsewhere. A revised version may be

8. (SBU) Russian VD99 Proposals - Russia resurrected three of
the measures it proposed in late 2007 for "improving the
implementation of the Vienna Document." The decision to take
national holidays into account when planning verification
activities was approved (FSC.DEC/2/08), although several
delegations including the U.S. believe the decision merely
describes the current practice of most pS.
9. (SBU) Russia has also proposed decisions on specifying the
area of inspection under the Vienna document at 25,000 square
kilometers (FSC.DEL/493/07/Rev.2), up from 18,000 square
kilometers in an earlier proposal, and on requiring annual
notification of at least one major military activity below
the threshold for mandatory notification under paragraph 40
of the document (FSC.DEL/495./07/Rev.3). These proposals
will remain on the working group agenda in the fall, having
drawn little substantive comment to date except Denmark's
suggestion to include a point-to-point maximum distance of
300 kilometers. The U.S. currently opposes the proposal to
limit the specified area and insists that any notification of
military activities involving NATO Allies would require prior
consultation within NATO.

Code of Conduct

10. (SBU) The FSC adopted an uncontroversial decision on
awareness raising and outreach for the Code of Conduct
(FSC.DEC/1/08) that requires national replies to the
Questionnaire be posted on the OSCE public website, at least
one Code-related special event each year, and engagement with
the OSCE Partners to encourage their adoption of Code

11. (SBU) Work on an update of the Code of Conduct
Questionnaire, meant to use more direct questions, avoid

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duplication, and solicit clear, unambiguous responses,
continued through 2008 with numerous informal drafting
sessions and extensive discussion in the working group. The
FSC Code coordinator, Anton Eischer of Austria, has asked
delegations to be ready to make final edits to the draft when
they return to Vienna in September.

12. (SBU) The latest version (FSC.DEL/98/08) has little of
the new material earlier proposed by the sponsors (Austria,
Switzerland, France) to reflect changes in the security
environment of Europe since the current Questionnaire was
drafted in the mid 1990s. Turkey and Germany in particular
are concerned about questions that require divulgence of
sensitive information on defense planning and operations.
Germany wants some reference to private military companies.
Sweden insists that the final version of the Questionnaire
include references to UNSCR 1325 on the participation of
women in conflict resolution and peace-making.

13. (SBU) Russia believes the update to be largely a waste of
time and resists including "tangential matters" like
democratic control of the armed forces in the update. The
U.S. has yet to make any specific textual edits, but its
recommendation to make the format and instructions for
submitting replies separate documents was accepted.

14. (SBU) Biennial Meeting of States and Future of SALW - A
special working group meeting was devoted to planning the
OSCE participation in the third Biennial Meeting of States on
the UN Program of Action on SALW (UNPOA), held in New York
July 14-18. There was grudging consensus that the OSCE
should describe its ongoing efforts at implementation of
existing SALW norms and its field projects to eliminate
surpluses and support better stockpile management. Germany
complained of the lack of normative work and proposed the
OSCE undertake a review of its SALW work, consider
"standardizing" SALW reporting requirements in light of the
UNPOA, and consider merging the separate OSCE Documents on
SALW and SCA. The U.S. successfully resisted reference to
the BMS in the decision on the publication of a handbook of
Best Practice Guides on stockpiles of conventional ammunition

15. (SBU) End-User Certificates - Belarus, with heavy German
support, has sponsored a draft decision that would require an
exchange of exemplars of end-user certificates to be followed
by an analysis of the submissions by the CPC. The U.S. has
questioned the utility of the exchange and analysis and
challenged the rationale for them put forward by Belarus and
Germany. The latter has criticized the U.S. for the timing
of its comments, although has not rebutted the U.S.
contention that the key issue is not the design of the EUC
but the performance of effective end-use checks

16. (SBU) Points of Contact List - Denmark sponsored a
decision to maintain a list of points of contact on SALW/SCA
issues, including financing, project management, and
technical best practices (FSC.DEC/4/08), although many
delegations doubted the need for an additional list beyond
that already maintained by the Conflict Prevention Center.

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17. (SBU) MANPADS - The OSCE's MANPADS export controls
principles were updated to accord with recent amendments to
the Wassenaar Arrangement principles in a decision initially
sponsored by Finland (FSC.DEC/5/08). The decision also
includes the principles adopted in 2004.

18. (SBU) CAT - The FSC decided to update the OSCE's
conventional arms transfers reporting categories to accord
with recent changes in the UN Register of Conventional Arms
(FSC.DEC/8/08). Germany sponsored the decision, hoping to
encourage pS also to submit data on SALW transfers, both
within and outside the OSCE. The decision encourages pS to
do this, but there is no additional requirement beyond those
found in the OSCE decisions that established the CAT
information exchange (FSC.DEC/13/97 and 8/98). The U.S. has
announced its intention to revisit the issue of redundancy in
providing the same report on CAT in the OSCE as well as the

19. (SBU) Mine Action - Germany has proposed a more active
role for the OSCE in landmine and explosive remnants of war
abatement. This follows the special FSC meeting on mine
action in January that broke little new ground but featured
repeated calls by France and others for universal accession
to the Ottawa Convention.

20. (SBU) Brokering - The CPC has prepared, in response to a
request from Finland in light of several late submissions, a
revised analysis of the national submissions to the one-off
exchange on SALW brokering practices (FSC.DEC/11/07;

21. (SBU) Illicit Air Trafficking - A French and Belgian
proposal to adopt Wassenaar Arrangement "best practices" on
air transfer of SALW as an OSCE document and to conduct a
one-off information exchange of national practices regulating
air transfer of SALW is still under negotiation as a draft
decision (FSC.DD/98/08/Rev.3). The U.S. proposal to endorse
the Wassenaar principles themselves instead of an OSCE
version of them is resisted by most delegations, who note
that the FSC has never, except for UN "global" agreements,
adopted an entire document from another international
organization. Delegations also resist changing, as proposed
by the U.S., the phrase in operative paragraph 1 of the draft
decision, "adopt the Best Practices", to "endorse" or
"welcome" them. The U.S. is effectively isolated on both
these questions.

Security Dialogue

22. (SBU) The FSC Security Dialogue in 2008 has been vigorous
and sometimes controversial, with running debates over
missile defense, Kosovo, and military incidents in Georgia.
Less incendiary discussions included cluster munitions; cyber
security; mine action in Croatia, Azerbaijan, and the Baltic;
private security companies; border security; Serbian defense
policy; the Wassenaar Arrangement; and the Nordic EU battle
group. U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul McHale
addressed "international partnerships for homeland defense
and crisis response on July 9." Delegations asked several
questions on comparison between the U.S. federal-state
partnerships and cooperation by NATO and the EU with national

USOSCE 00000197 005 OF 008

governments in civil-military emergency planning.

23. (SBU) Missile Defense - The U.S. assertively countered
Russian complaints that U.S. missile defense installations
planned for the Czech Republic and Poland threaten the
stability of European security by repeating offers to consult
with Russia over the MD deployments and share information on
the likely missile threats to Europe from Iran. The U.S.
also repeated the offer to work with Russia and NATO to
develop regional missile defense architecture.

24. (SBU) Cyber Security - Estonia led a discussion of cyber
security that included presentations by official from Estonia
and Finland. Estonia has proposed an information exchange on
cyber security national experiences and best practices to be
followed by a workshop.

25. (SBU) Georgia - Russia shot down a Georgian UAV on April
20 over Abkhazia. Georgia subsequently invoked the Vienna
Document Chapter III conflict resolution mechanism to discuss
the incident and related developments in a joint
FSC-Permanent Council (PC) meeting. Georgia had earlier
invoked the "Bucharest mechanism" (MC.DEC/3/01) and requested
a full OSCE investigation of the incident but Russia refused
to accede to it. The findings of experts from the U.S., the
Baltic states, and UNOMIG who investigated the incident were
presented during the discussion. These concluded the
Georgian UAV was likely shot down by a Russian fighter. At
the FSC-PC Georgia presented a video recording taken by the
UAV camera before the drone was destroyed by a missile
launched from a Russian fighter and radar tracks from
Georgia's air traffic control system. Russia claimed it
lacked all relevant evidence and refused to participate in
further discussion until it received the "missing evidence."

26. (SBU) Georgia consulted extensively with the U.S. in
preparation for these meetings, in all of which the U.S
actively participated. At the beginning of the crisis when
many Allies were skeptical that Russia had actually downed
the UAV, the U.S., inter alia, exhibited and discussed
photographs of the Russian aircraft and missiles mentioned by
the investigators, but did not per se accuse Russia. This
eliminated the confusion and uncertainty in the minds of many
delegations. The U.S. prepared a terrain analysis showing
the area where the UAV was shot down. The U.S., in response
to uncertainty and confusion expressed by delegations,
actively participated at the FSC-PC by The U.S. repeatedly
called on all parties to the incident and larger conflict to
exercise restraint and not escalate the situation by
deploying additional military forces into the region.

27. (SBU) Kosovo - Russia accused the U.S. of contravention
of UN resolutions against supplying arms to Kosovo after the
Presidential finding that Kosovo was eligible for U.S>
security assistance. The U.S. responded that the arms
embargo had been lifted and any U.S. assistance would be in
line with the Ahtisaari plan that would support civilian
controlled military forces that would provide for national
and regional defense and could participate in humanitarian

28. (SBU) Autumn Session Topics - Finland will chair the FSC
in the autumn round. It anticipates the Security Dialogue

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presentations on human rights in the armed forces, the
Biennial Meeting of States on the UNPOA on SALW, naval CSBMs,
and UNSCR 1540. Finland has solicited U.S. presentations on
the Proliferation Security Initiative, the Defense
Department's new Africa Command, and pandemic illnesses.
Mission is currently arranging a presentations on maritime
security by the U.S. Coast Guard commandant and on the new
National Defense Strategy.


29. (SBU) Key addresses at the July 2008 Annual Security
Review Conference (ASRC) arms control and CSBM working
session focused on the state of arms control and prospects
for the future pointed to the globalization of the security
agendas as the underlying cause of the current CFE impasse.
Recommendations included a return to European-centered
security and shaping future agreements to include "principles
of modern arms control" void of limits based on outdated
numerical balance of forces. The U.S. and allies exchanged
positions with Russia on the causes of, and actions required
to resolve, the impasse over CFE.


30. (SBU) At the March 2008 Annual Implementation and
Assessment Meeting delegations restricted themselves to broad
recommendations meant for detailed development in the FSC
working groups. Russia did not engage in its usual practice
of berating pS for "lack of progress" in adopting its various
CSBM proposals. Among topics discussed were the Vienna
Document "quota race," improving the timeliness of defense
planning and budget submissions, and reporting "significant"
military activities. Several NATO Allies opposed linking the
impasse over CFE to continuing work in the FSC on Vienna
Document implementation and other CSBMs, but did not actually
endorse any specific proposal, including Russian ones.


31. (SBU) At the Heads of Verification Meeting held the day
before the AIAM, discussion anticipated the AIAM agenda and
included the Vienna Document "quota race," a Schengen visa
for non-Schengen inspecting states, a best practices guide
for conducting air base and military facilities visit and new
equipment demonstrations, and the role of OSCE "assistants"
in the Article IV (Dayton Peace Accords) verification regime.
Unlike 2007, the verifications officials did not stray into
policy recommendations and specifically did not attempt to
coordinate Vienna Document inspection schedules.

Best Practice Guides

32. (SBU) The FSC approved the publication of a handbook of
Best Practice Guides on stockpiles of conventional
ammunition. And two additional guides, on ammunition
destruction and stockpile security, were endorsed for
inclusion in the handbook.

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33. (SBU) Best Practice Guides on UNSCR 1540 are currently
being developed by the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. guide, on
expert controls and transshipment, is near completion, after
extensive revision based on EU comments. Canada is preparing
a revision of its draft guide on physical security.

U.S. Tactics

34. (SBU) COMMENT: Largely because of the lateness of U.S.
interventions, the U.S. delegation has been isolated or in a
corner with a country like Belarus on several proposals under
consideration in the FSC. Although the substance of U.S.
interventions is not always immediately well-received,
earlier intervention would allow the U.S. delegation time to
lobby other delegations and influence the course on
negotiations in the working groups. As it is, many
delegations reject out of hand U.S. proposals as "too little
and too late." Russia and, increasingly, Germany have
inserted themselves into the leadership vacuum resulting from
U.S. silence and inactivity. END COMMENT.

Requests for Guidance

35. (SBU) Mission requests guidance on the following draft
decisions and other proposals under consideration in the FSC
at the close of the 2008 spring-summer session that will be
taken up again in September:

-- Food-for-thought paper on an information exchange on
multinational rapid reaction forces (FSC.DEL/545/06) and
Germany's counter-proposal (seen only by France, the UK, and
the U.S.)

-- Food-for thought paper on naval CSBMs (FSC.DEL/120/08)

-- Proposal for a draft decision on the dimensions of the
(Vienna Document) "specified area" of inspection

-- Proposal for a draft decision on (Vienna Document) prior
notification of major military activities

-- Draft decision on end-user certificate information
exchange (FSC.DEL/108/08)

-- Draft decision on best practices and questionnaire on
preventing destabilizing transfers of SALW through air
transport (FSC.DD/10/08)

-- Proposal for a draft decision on Code of Conduct
Questionnaire update (FSC.DEL/98/08/Rev.3)

-- Food-for-thought paper on a more active OSCE rile in
addressing landmines and explosive remnants of war

-- Proposal for a draft decision for a cyber security
information exchange and workshop (FSC.DEL/125/08)

Next Meeting

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36. (U) The first FSC plenary meeting of the autumn session
will be on September 10; the first working group meetings
will be on September 17.

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