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Cablegate: Estonian Response to Proposed Regional South

VZCZCXRO6733
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTL #0294 2351436
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 221436Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0780
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0368
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE 1239
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL IMMEDIATE 0040
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TALLINN 000294

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR NISHA SINGH SCA/A

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL NATO AF EN
SUBJECT: ESTONIAN RESPONSE TO PROPOSED REGIONAL SOUTH
CIVILIAN-MILITARY PLANNING AND COORDINATION CELL

RE: STATE 85097

1. (U) THIS IS AN ACTION REQUEST. SEE PARAGRAPH 3.

2. (SBU) In a conversation with Poloff on August 22,
Christian-Marc Liflander, Director of Policy Planning
Department at the Estonian MOD, Riho Rongelep, Director
of Operations (MOD), Liis Jemmer from the Policy
Planning Department (MOD) and Evelin Looman discussed
the Government of Estonia (GOE) reaction to Secretary
Gates proposal to create a Regional Command South
Civilian-Military Planning and Coordination Cell
(reftel). Liflander commented that overall, the GOE
agrees that it would be beneficial to have a coordinated
body on the ground to analyze lessons learned. At the
same time, Liflander cautioned that any potential GOE
contribution to the cell will be modest at best. If
possible, the GOE would be content with being
represented by Great Britain. Looman (MFA) echoed this
statement by pointing out that the GOE's limited
resources are prioritized for the PRT in Lashkar Gah.
While the GOE is constantly looking for ways to
strengthen and deepen its contributions to southern
Afghanistan, it would be difficult to find a person to
contribute to the cell. At the same time, the GOE is
more than willing to cooperate with cell
recommendations.

2. (SBU) Among the few concerns voiced during the
meeting was the lack of reference to the European Union
Police Mission (EUPOL) in coordinating work with the
cell. The inclusion of EUPOL is a very important
element for the GOE. Liflander also questioned the
proposed rotation cycle. He suggested that the cycles
would need to be long enough for leaders on the ground
to observe conditions and make educated recommendations.
Questions were also raised concerning the scope of the
cell's ability to initiate recommendations.
Specifically, how will identified shortfalls be dealt
with? Finally Riho Rongelep (MOD) asked whether or not
the initiative for the RC-South cell is built upon the
'extraordinary' U.S. and UN Assistance Mission in
Afghanistan (UNAMA) work in RC-East?

3. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST: Post requests Department
assistance in providing additional information in
response to GOE inquiries concerning the proposed RC-
South Civilian-Military Planning and Coordination Cell.
END ACTION REQUEST.

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