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Cablegate: Major Crimes Task Force - a Key Element of the Road Map

VZCZCXRO9958
RR RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHBUL #3419/01 2991204
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261204Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2461
INFO RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 003419

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/A, SRAP, INL
FBI FOR DIRECTOR
DEA FOR HEADQUARTERS
DOJ FOR HEADQUARTERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KJUS PGOV EAID KCRM KCOR AMGT AF
SUBJECT: Major Crimes Task Force - A Key Element of the Road Map
for Fighting Corruption and Serious Crimes in Afghanistan

REF: KABUL 3185

1. (U) Summary: The Federal Bureau of Investigation will soon
complete construction of a facility in Kabul to house the Major
Crimes Task Force (MCTF). We see the MCTF as our flagship
anti-corruption program, and hope FBI Director will be able to visit
the facility site next month as a means of recognizing the most
effective U.S.-Afghan action against corruption as real and
expanding. In partnership with the Afghan government, the UK, and
other U.S. agencies, the MCTF will investigate serious crimes --
kidnapping, corruption, and organized crime -- in Afghanistan. The
MCTF will be a key component in U.S.-Afghan efforts to fight
corruption. To maximize the MCTF's effectiveness, we should support
integral and necessary measures to strengthen the rule of law, such
as ourproposal to create an Afghan judicial security force
(reftel). Our efforts against corruption will require sustained,
skillful, foreign and Afghan investment in programs and human
capital. End summary.

U.S. and UK Partner with Afghans to Fight
Serious Crime and Corruption
-----------------------------------------

2. (U) The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is working closely
with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Combined Security
Transition Command (CSTC-A), the State Department/INL and the UK's
Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) to build a Major Crimes Task
Force (MCTF). These U.S. and UK law enforcement agencies are
working as a team with the Afghan Ministry of Interior (MOI),
National Directorate of Security (NDS) and Attorney General's Office
(AGO) to fight serious crime (kidnapping, corruption, and organized
crime) in Afghanistan.

3. (U) The FBI will assign ten additional FBI Special Agent mentors
to cooperate with and develop the skills of approximately 100 Afghan
MOI and NDS investigators at the MCTF. (Five agents are currently
assigned.) Most will serve one-year tours. The FBI is initiating
its own version of "Afghan Hands" to develop FBI officers'
experience in support of the MCTF. (Note: "Afghan Hands" is a DOD
manning and training program, approved by the Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, designed to develop a core cadre of expert
personnel to conduct repeated assignments in critical billets in
Afghanistan. End note.) FBI Afghan Hands will consist of four
months of language training followed by an eight-month assignment in
Afghanistan.

4. (U) In addition, four UK mentors and 30 vetted NDS and MOI
investigators (15 each), will form the MCTF's Corruption
Investigation Unit. The Unit will focus on high level Afghan
corruption with no U.S. nexus. Trained and vetted prosecutors
currently working at the Anti-Corruption Unit of the Afghan Attorney
General's office will support the MCTF. In addition, the Office of
the Special Investigator General (SIGAR) -- with 18 investigators,
inspectors, and auditors in Afghanistan -- and the International
Contract and Corruption Task Force - Afghanistan (ICCTF) will also
support the MCTF. (Note: The ICCTF is a multi-agency law
enforcement task force focused on combating contract fraud and
public corruption relating to U.S. Government spending. End Note.)


Camp Falcon: Future Home of the MCTF
------------------------------------

5. (U) Our mission interagency law enforcement team strongly
supports the FBI's conclusion that establishing a permanent home for
the interagency MCTF is necessary to: (1) build significant Afghan
anti-corruption capabilities, and (2) attract like-minded entities
to build on existing anti-corruption efforts. We have identified
Camp Falcon as the best site, and construction of the MCTF facility
is underway. The SOCA expects to move into the Camp in November
2009. The MCTF should be fully operational by January 2010. Camp
Falcon is located near the Kabul Airport, and adjacent to other
U.S.-built facilities, including the new Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) facility and the Counter-Narcotics Justice
Center (CNJC).

Comment
-------

6. (SBU) The MCTF is an emerging interagency and international
cooperation success story with the MCTF playing a pivotal role in
U.S. and Afghan anti-corruption efforts. It will prosecute
high-level corruption cases referred through the corruption

KABUL 00003419 002 OF 002


reporting process recently launched by the U.S. Embassy in
partnership with NATO (see septel and Fragmentary Order number
498-2009). As part of the Embassy's anti-corruption strategy, the
MCTF could serve as the prosecution arm of the High Office of
Oversight (or successor institution), the Afghan government's
anti-corruption watchdog.

7. (SBU) However, Afghan courts now cannot effectively prosecute
MCTF cases because of severe capacity limitations, judicial
corruption, and lack of security for judges and prosecutors.
Ultimately, U.S.-supported Afghan efforts to fight corruption will
fail without secure and independent courts. We are working to build
the capacity and independence of Afghan courts with initiatives that
would (1) provide judicial security (reftel), (2) increase salaries
for prosecutors, and (3) build judicial capacity at the national and
regional levels. We also advocate the creation of a court of
special jurisdiction, based on the successful model of the
Counter-Narcotics Justice Center, to prosecute MCTF cases. All of
these efforts will require significant and persistent human and
program investment, necessarily from foreign sources. As always,
this raises the issue of sustainability. However, without such
investment in effective rule of law capacity, there will be little
left of the Afghan government (and our strategic policy interest in
its existence and effectiveness) to sustain. End comment.

EIKENBERRY

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