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Cablegate: Interior Ministry Organizes for Police Growth

VZCZCXRO9861
RR RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHBUL #3262/01 2871314
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141314Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2164
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2027
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 3862
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 003262

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINS AF
SUBJECT: INTERIOR MINISTRY ORGANIZES FOR POLICE GROWTH

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On October 1 Interior Minister Hanif
Atmar launched a series of working groups to plan for Afghan
National Police (ANP) growth, and told International Police
Coordination Board (IPCB) reps that:

-- Police growth and reform are his post-election priorities;

--The Ministry is not committed in advance to a ceiling of
160,000 police or any other figure ) it is simply using the
prospect of growth to 160,000 by end 2013 as a planning
guide; (NOTE: This figure derives from Combined Security
Transition Command Afghanistan's (CSTC-A) planning target.)

-- He envisions a five-pillar police structure with different
types of police for different functions;

-- Afghanistan,s ability to pay for its police force depends
on domestic revenue growth, but more and better police can
help local authorities to improve revenue collection.

The Ministry,s new working groups will plan the mechanics of
growth beyond the statutory ceiling of 96,800 police,
handling critical issues such as recruitment, attrition,
training, and logistics that can limit the extent and slow
the pace of growth. Combined Security Transition
Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) and the European Union Police
Mission (EUPOL) will support the working groups with
technical advice. The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) also
invites working-level participation from donor embassies. The
Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan,s (LOTFA) staff
will lead a separate financial working group with Ministry of
Finance and MOI participation to examine the costs of ANP
growth to the Afghan Government. END SUMMARY.

PLANNING FOR GROWTH BEYOND 96,800 POLICE
--------------------------------------------- --------------

2. (SBU) Minister Atmar told donor representatives that his
post-election goal is to accelerate the growth of the police
from their current authorized strength of 96,800, while
&aggressively8 reforming his force and Ministry. In
response to European Community and Dutch concerns, Atmar
denied that he was committed in advance to any particular
growth figure (such as 160,000). MOI needed to choose a
number for planning purposes, but Atmar suggested it could as
easily be 175,000. The MOI working groups will premise their
planning on a goal of growing to 160,000 police by the end of
2013, reflecting CSTC-A,s planning target.

3. (SBU) The ANP growth working groups are responsible for
planning for the number and pace of police growth. They
will plan for the distribution of new forces across different
police categories (uniformed police, border police, civil
order police, specialized police), and determine the tasks of
each force. They will also determine training, personnel,
logistics and facilities needs for growth, and, propose
solutions to the problems of recruitment and retention that
retard force growth. The working group structure consists
of: an Executive Steering Group chaired by Interior Minister
Hanif Atmar, which includes the Deputy Ministers for
Security, and Strategy and Policy, and the heads of CSTC-A
and EUPOL; and, an Executive Working Group (EWG) led by First
Deputy Minister for Security Monir Mangal, which consists of
MOI Department heads, CSTC-A staff section representatives
and donor embassy representatives. The EWG will coordinate
the work of four working groups and twelve sub-working
groups.

4. (SBU) Led by MOI department heads, the four working
groups cover broad areas: Strategy and Policy; Security;
Counter Narcotics; and Administration and Support. The
appropriate CSTC-A staff sections, EUPOL and the IPCB,s
Senior Police Advisory Group will support each working group
and sub-working group with planning advice and staff.
Embassy Kabul,s Pol-Mil and INL-Narcotics Affairs Sections
will attend meetings of the Executive Working Group, and the
working groups on Strategy and Policy, and Counter Narcotics.
An INL Dyncorps contract police mentor with expertise in
training will attend the sub-working group on training and
education.

(AND FIGURING OUT HOW TO PAY FOR IT
--------------------------------------------- -------

5. (SBU) The Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan
(LOTFA) covers $258 million and CSTC-A $115 million of MOI,s
$418 million annual budget, while the Afghan treasury picks
up the tab for $45 million in administrative and support

KABUL 00003262 002 OF 002


staff costs. (NOTE: Japan, LOTFA's largest donor this year,
accounts for $124.8 million of the fund's budget. Japan has
donated a total of $144.6 million since 2006, making it the
third largest donor overall, after the US and European
Commission.) In March, the MOI is scheduled to take over
payment of the $71.8 million annual food allowance for 82,000
ANP from LOTFA. Afghanistan spends 26% of its annual budget
on the security sector, a number fixed by the Afghanistan
Compact. Consequently, Police growth will require revenue
growth, even if donors pay most costs. Minister Atmar argued
that effective police support for local authorities could
enhance revenue collection ) police growth would yield
revenue growth. (NOTE: The Minister did not elaborate on
this claim, and he did not suggest that any "revenue growth"
resulting from improved security would fully cover increased
costs.) Atmar supported the idea that LOTFA would lead a
separate working group to plan for the financial implications
of ANP growth. That group will bring MOI and Ministry of
Finance together with police donors for joint financial
planning.

6. (SBU) COMMENT: Minister Atmar is eager to grow the ANP
as fast as possible, but his working groups will have to
contend with the hard realities -- competition for recruits
from a growing army and well-paid private security companies;
annual attrition of 25%; finite training capacity; and
funding -- that will dictate the pace of police growth. The
ANP growth working groups will also test the planning
capacity of the MOI,s four-month old Department of Strategy
and Policy. This is its first major planning exercise, and
it will likely require significant advice and support from
CSTC-A and EUPOL to keep the planning up to speed with the
security requirements necessitating ANP growth. END COMMENT.
EIKENBERRY

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