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Cablegate: Afghanistan: Italy Still Supportive of Ana

VZCZCXRO1290
PP RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHYG
DE RUEHRO #1143 2560826
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 120826Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY ROME
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0886
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0426
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 1947
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0818
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 0893
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 1310
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0482
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 4448
RUEHMIL/AMCONSUL MILAN PRIORITY 9555
RUEHFL/AMCONSUL FLORENCE PRIORITY 3200
RUEHNP/AMCONSUL NAPLES PRIORITY 3352
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY 4659
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 2964
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

UNCLAS ROME 001143

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

SCA/A FOR NISHA SINGH, EUR/RPM FOR RAPHAEL CARLAND

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR NATO IT AF
SUBJECT: AFGHANISTAN: ITALY STILL SUPPORTIVE OF ANA
EXPANSION IN PRINCIPLE, AWAITS DETAILS

REF: A. STATE 93225
B. ROME 835

1. Sensitive but unclassified. Please protect accordingly.

2. (SBU) Poloff delivered reftel demarche to Italian MFA
Coordinator for Afghanistan Sergio Mercuri and MFA
Political-Military Office Deputy Director Carlo Batori on
September 3. Mercuri and Batori both reiterated Italian
support for ANA expansion in principle (Ref B), but stressed
that the GOI will need more details on the proposal before
committing funds. In a subsequent discussion on September 8
Batori said that MOD Wardak had made an excellent case for
ANA expansion at the NAC on September 3 but that many
questions still remain. The ANA already has difficulties
with recruitment and desertions, Batori said; can it
effectively grow to the 134,000-troop level? A larger ANA
would, he agreed, help address some of the current CJSOR
shortfalls, but it would also create a need for additional
OMLTs and possibly divert scarce training resources away from
the "underprioritized" Afghan National Police.

2. (SBU) Batori also cautioned that all of Italy's foreign
aid and defense programs are facing the possibility of deep
budget cuts under the current government. (Note: Budget cuts
in defense spending alone are projected to total USD 2.5
billion over the next three years.) Although Afghanistan
will remain a top priority for the GOI, he said, large new
outlays of donor assistance are unlikely beyond the Euro 50
million/year commitment Italy made at the June 2008 Paris
Conference.
SPOGLI

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