Cablegate: Rc South: Dutch Prt Overview
DE RUEHBUL #2986/01 3180302
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 130302Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6137
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 0706
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 3745
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 002986
DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/FO, SCA/A, EUR/RPM
STATE PASS TO AID FOR ASIA/SCAA
NSC FOR WOOD
OSD FOR WILKES
THE HAGUE FOR POL
CENTCOM FOR CG CSTC-A, CG CJTF-101 POLAD
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ETRD EFIN AF TI
SUBJECT: RC South: Dutch PRT Overview
REFTEL: Kabul 2780
1. (U) Summary. Dutch Embassy representatives gave ISAF's PRT
Working Group Secretariat an overview of the Dutch Provincial
Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Uruzgan province. The Dutch Embassy is
unsure of the effects of its expiring mandate to lead the PRT,
noting that its PRT will become civilian-led and station its
representatives at the district level. The number and location of
these district-level PRTs have not been determined. Dutch
development looks to cooperate with NGOs, its German counterpart,
and the Afghan government. End summary.
2. (U) The parliamentary mandate for The Netherlands' "military
lead" will expire in 2010; however, the mandate for development aid
will continue. How this will work out in practice at the PRT is not
clear to the Dutch Embassy. In the interim, the Dutch will continue
to create an increasingly civilian PRT (reftel). Currently the
civilian chief representative "sits next to" the military commander
(in effect, the civilian chief representative is the co-commander),
and is the lead for governance and development issues. In March
2009 the civilian chief's current deputy will take over as the PRT
commander, with a "steering committee" created above him. This
model was developed by studying the Canadian-led PRT in Kandahar.
3. (SBU) Dutch policy is to support the local provincial
government. It currently funds twelve Afghan government Independent
Directorate of Local Government (IDLG) advisors who work directly
for the governor. Gubernatorial advisors serve to strengthen the
ties between the governor and line ministers to "offset the
influence of local power brokers who have direct access to the
Presidential palace." As long as Governor Hamdam is in power the
Dutch will support him, but his political position is not secure.
To help address popularity and management issues, the Dutch PRT has
encouraged the Governor to visit the districts more often, but with
4. (U) Travel in the province is difficult, and requires a military
escort. To overcome the resulting provincial capital bias in PRT
reporting, the Dutch plan to station civilians at the district level
for one to two weeks at a time. The number and location of these
district-level efforts remain to be determined.
5. (U) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Development Cooperation
(administratively part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the
Ministry of the Interior are the main Dutch players on the PRT.
After early friction, civilian-military cooperation in the Dutch PRT
in Uruzgan is now excellent, according to the Dutch Embassy. Early
joint pre-deployment training helped resolve early problems,
creating a better sense of teamwork.
Looking for Partners
6. (SBU) The bulk of the Dutch development funds flow directly to
the central government in Kabul. The PRT project budget itself is
controlled by the embassy in Kabul, but the embassy laments that it
only receives reports on specific projects "in bits and pieces."
Dutch development focus is primarily on health, education,
irrigation, infrastructure, and alternative livelihood projects.
The Ministry of the Interior program is focused on counternarcotics
and police mentoring, and will soon bring in five additional Dutch
police mentors. The Dutch PRT also has access to a Dutch
post-conflict stability fund that can be used to build installations
such as police stations.
7. (SBU) The general Dutch PRT policy is to engage with NGOs and
use local contractors as often as possible. Due to security
concerns, however, few NGOs are active in the region (although UNAMA
plans to open a provincial office in Tarin Kowt); therefore, it is
not always possible for the PRT to work with local NGOs. For their
own security, local NGOs acceptable to the embassy often do not wish
to be publicly identified as a partner. As a result, projects with
local NGOs are typically very small scale and very low profile.
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8. (U) The main partners of the PRT are "Dutch Consortium Uruzgan"
which consists of four to five Dutch or Dutch-led NGOs, and the
German development agency (Dutch Development works very closely with
its German counterpart around the world).
9. (U) In the Dutch Embassy view, the provincial development plan
(PDP) is working well and is the basis for all projects. The Dutch
PRT will, however, consider local non-PDP ideas for projects. A PRT
executive steering committee is attempting to revive the local
Provincial Development Council and improve the relevance of the PDP.