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Cablegate: New Zealand and Ana Expansion

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHWL #0322 2740147
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 300147Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5454
INFO RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0067
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 0085

C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000322

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/ANP AND SCA/A TOM REOTT

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/30/2018
TAGS: MARR PREL AF NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND AND ANA EXPANSION

REF: STATE 97592

Classified By: Acting DCM Margaret McKean; Reason 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) On September 18, A/DCM met with Wayne Higgins,
Director for the Ministry of Defense International Relations
Division, MOD defense policy and planning analyst Greg
Mitchell, Ron Logan, MOD staff officer to the Chief of
Defense Force, and Richard Prendergast from the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Trade International Security and
Disarmament Division policy officer for NATO. A/DCM noted
that the Afghan National Army's proposed expansion plan will
require additional international support and financing; the
USG is currently discussing financial contributions with
other NATO allies and partners to assist the Afghan
government meet its national security challenges. She
thanked the GNZ for its contribution in Bamiyan province and
the ongoing work of the New Zealand Defense Force PRT there.
She also noted that the USG would defer making a specific
request to the GNZ until after New Zealand's national
elections in early November.

2. (C) GNZ officials expressed strong support for the
planned ANA expansion, characterizing the 134,000-strong
force as a "positive development." Higgins added that the
"more the Afghans do, the less we have to do." Higgins
noted, however, that even with a change in government in New
Zealand, the GNZ's potential financial contribution would be
a question mark. GNZ support for Afghanistan totals roughly
NZD 21 million but none of the money goes to the Afghan
National Army; rather, it goes to development efforts based
on the needs outlined at the Paris donors' meetings. Higgins
questioned how Afghanistan could afford the military
expansion over the longer term when it's GDP is less than 9
billion per year -- the military alone currently requires
$5-6 billion per year, said Higgins.

3. (C) Higgins and the other officials observed that any
request for new funding submitted to the GNZ would be
assessed against other competing GNZ needs at a time when the
country is technically in recession.
KEEGAN

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