Search

 

Cablegate: Pm Foreign Policy Speech Stresses Afghanization

VZCZCXYZ0003
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLO #2575 3211718
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 171718Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3994
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L LONDON 002575

NOFORN

SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (ADDED NOFORN)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/17/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL MARR MOPS AF PK NATO UK
SUBJECT: PM FOREIGN POLICY SPEECH STRESSES AFGHANIZATION
AND LEADING IN GLOBAL COOPERATION Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Greg Berry for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C/NF) Summary: In a November 16, speech, PM Gordon Brown reviewed UK foreign policy priorities -- but focused on Afghanistan. Emphasizing that Britain's national security was at stake, Brown argued that the "greater international good will never be subordinated to the mood of the passing moment." But it is Brown's offer to host a conference on Afghanistan early next year, and his statement that it should set a timetable for transferring districts starting in 2010, that has captured UK media attention; they interpret it as a timetable for UK withdrawal. A recent poll showing that 71 percent of the public would like to start pulling out of Afghanistan within a year. With elections due by June 2010 (and expected earlier, in May), Brown is under increasing pressure to defend continued UK involvement. End Summary.

2. (C/NF) In his annual foreign policy speech on November 16, PM Gordon Brown asserted Britain's key role in the world, "by leading in global co-operation." Brown's focus on the need to use UK influence to shape collective action was, in part, aimed at the opposition Conservatives, who have recently made a show of their Euroskepticism. But while Brown highlighted several key issues -- climate change, economic reform, non-proliferation -- Afghanistan/Pakistan was his main focus.

3. (C/NF) Brown emphasized that the war in Afghanistan was necessary to Britain's national security, citing the July 7, 2005 bombings and various other terrorist attempts in Britain and noting that "three quarters of the most serious plots the security services are now tracking in Britain have links to Pakistan." However, he argued that the crucial element is the "Afghanization" of the war. In an indirect reference to the recent shootings of UK soldiers by an Afghan recruit, Brown underscored that "we have not chosen this path of Afghanization because it is a safer or easier option, but because it is the right strategy." Brown noted that other members of the coalition had increased their contributions, and stated that he had urged Presient Karzai to take action against corruption.

4. (C/NF) However, UK media have focused on Brown's offer to host, early next year in London, a conference on international community support for Afghanistan. As noted ref B, FCO Director for South Asia and Afghanistan Karen Pierce previewed the offer in a meeting with POL MinCouns on November 16; we understand that FS Miliband also raised this with the Secretary. Brown sees the conference as a means "to chart a comprehensive political framework within which the military strategy can be accomplished." He also suggested that the conference "identify a process for transferring district by district to full Afghan control and if at all possible set a timetable for transferring districts starting in 2010." This has been interpreted, by UN media, as a call for a "withdrawal timetable."

5. (C/NF) COMMENT: British public support for UK involvement in Afghanistan has been trending downward as British casualties mount and elections approach. A recent poll suggested that 71 percent of the public would like to start pulling out of Afghanistan within a year. Perhaps to bolster his contention that talk of a timetable for drawing down is strategic, Brown pointed out that great progress has been made against Al-Qaeda, including the liquidating of top Al-Qaeda leaders, which has "depleted its reserve of experienced leaders and sapped its morale." But privately, British leaders acknowledge the tension between Brown's personal commitment to success in Afghanistan and falling public support. END COMMENT. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX
Susman

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>