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Cablegate: Netherlands/Afghanistan: Engaging Labor Party

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INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 2840
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RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA IMMEDIATE 5263
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RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE 2241
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S E C R E T THE HAGUE 000567

SIPDIS, NOFORN

NSC FOR TOBY BRADLEY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/18/2019
TAGS: PREL AF NATO PGOV NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/AFGHANISTAN: ENGAGING LABOR PARTY
LEADER BOS - PART OF THE "GETTING TO YES" STRATEGY FOR
E...


225926,9/18/2009 15:03,09THEHAGUE567,"Embassy The
Hague",SECRET//NOFORN,09THEHAGUE419|09THEHAGUE514|09THEHAGUE54
3|09THEHAGUE92,"VZCZCXYZ0015
OO RUEHWEB
DE RUEHTC #0567/01 2611503
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 181503Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3280
INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 2840
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL IMMEDIATE 0424
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA IMMEDIATE 5263
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE 2241
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL IMMEDIATE
","S E C R E T THE HAGUE 000567
SIPDIS, NOFORN
NSC FOR TOBY BRADLEY
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/18/2019
TAGS: PREL AF NATO PGOV NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/AFGHANISTAN: ENGAGING LABOR PARTY
LEADER BOS - PART OF THE ""GETTING TO YES"" STRATEGY FOR
EXTENDING DUTCH DEPLOYMENT IN AFGHANISTAN POST-2010
REF: A. THE HAGUE 543
B. THE HAGUE 514
C. THE HAGUE 419
D. THE HAGUE 0092
Classified By: Political-Economic Counselor Andrew Mann
for reasons 1.5 (b,d).
1. (S/NF) SUMMARY: Post requests a senior USG official
(ideally NSA General Jones) engage Dutch Finance Minister and
Labor Party leader Bos in a pull-aside at the Pittsburgh G20
Summit to emphasize continued Dutch participation in such
fora is based on their active international role, not their
economic/financial power. Post suggests a follow-up call by
SRAP Amb. Holbrooke to Development Minister Koenders to make
sure Bos ""gets"" the message. END SUMMARY.
2. (S/NF) After his July 14 meeting with the President, Prime
Minister Balkenende understands the Dutch were invited to the
Pittsburgh G20 Summit because of their role in Afghanistan,
where they are viewed as a serious partner who shoulders
their international responsibilities. Deputy Prime Minister,
Finance Minister and Labor Party leader Wouter Bos, however,
believes the reasons the Dutch are going to Pittsburgh are
(1) their participation in previous G20 meetings; (2) their
financial prowess (16th largest economy, 11th largest
financial center, 6th largest development assistance
provider); and (3) their substantive views on and experience
in international economics and finance. Comments by Crown
Prince Willem-Alexander after his September 11 visit to the
White House that the President wants the Dutch as permanent
G20 members (""The President indicated that he truly values
the Dutch input"") re-enforced Bos's position.
3. (S/NF) Following USNATO Amb. Daalder's visit (ref A),
senior Dutch officials, including the Prime Minister's
Foreign Policy and Defense Advisor Karl van Oosterom, have
repeatedly asked the Embassy to have a senior Washington
official convey to Bos the real reason for the Dutch G20
invitation. They complain ""he just doesn't get it,""
reflecting the frustrations of the Prime Minister, Foreign
Minister and Defense Minister, who support the Dutch
remaining in Afghanistan post-2010.
4. (S/NF) In late August, Bos indicated to the Ambassador the
Labor Party would likely support an extension of Dutch
deployment in Afghanistan after 2010, but not in Uruzgan (ref
B). He has not said so publicly or within his party,
however, and the Labor Party rank and file (and the public at
large) are increasingly opposed to Afghanistan. Recent Task
Force Uruzgan fatalities led to heavy media coverage of a
perceived decline in public support for the Afghanistan
mission and a questioning of Dutch development efforts in
Uruzgan - ""what are we doing there?"" Allegations of
corruption during the recent presidential election are also
generating concerns about whether Dutch diplomacy efforts
have yet borne fruit. Bos's failure to see the connection
between the Dutch NATO/ISAF involvement and its G20
participation could cause him to change his mind from likely
supporting an Afghanistan extension to opposing it. The
Labor Party is currently the hold-out in the three-party
governing coalition for Cabinet approval to extend the Dutch
deployment after 2010. While Bos is guided on the
Afghanistan issue by Development Minister Koenders (a leading
member of Bos's Labor Party), the final decision will be
Bos's to make.
5. (S/NF) Post believes a pull-aside for Bos by a senior USG
official such as NSA General Jones at the Pittsburgh Summit
would be beneficial. It would make Bos aware of how
important we view international leadership -- measured by a
country's actions across the board. A pull-aside would also
demonstrate to Prime Minister Balkenende our support for his
efforts to get Cabinet approval of continued Dutch
deployment. We would suggest comments along the following
lines:
- We respect the Dutch political system and know the upcoming
decision on whether to continue deployment in Afghanistan
after 2010 is a difficult one. That decision is for the
Dutch to make, but we are ready to provide any information to
assist with the Cabinet's decision.
- We value Dutch partnership - not only in Afghanistan but in
NATO, the OSCE and G20 - across the breadth of international
issues and fora. The countries around the table in
Pittsburgh are not here just for their economic weight/views
but because they are world leaders. There are a number of
countries who sought a seat at this G20 table, but only
countries with an understanding of their international
responsibilities were invited.
6. (S/NF) As a follow-up to the G20 pull-aside, we request
SRAP Amb. Holbrooke call Development Minister Koenders to
make sure Bos got the message. We understand Amb. Holbrooke
is interested in contacting Koenders now, but we recommend a
later call to take into consideration the G20 pull-aside and
other developments. For example, CENTCOM Commanding General
Petraeus will meet with senior Dutch Members of Parliament
September 21. We will report on that discussion so it can
inform both the pull-aside and Holbrooke/Koenders call.
LEVIN

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