Cablegate: Paddy Ashdown On Way Forward in Afghanistan

DE RUEHLO #2581/01 3221516
R 181516Z NOV 09 ///ZFR////

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LONDON 002581


E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/12/2019

LONDON 00002581 001.2 OF 002

/////////ZFR CANCEL THIS MESSAGE. MESSAGE WILL BE RESENT WITH NEW MRN/////////////////////////////////////// Decentralize

5. (C//NF) Ashdown argued that one of the initial mistakes made in Afghanistan was to impose the Western model of centralized government on a society that has been dominated by tribes for over a thousand years. If we want to be successful, he said, we need to work within the existing social context and support a more decentralized approach. Ashdown added that building up the local and regional structures would have the added benefit of weakening Karzai's personal control, enhancing the government,s international legitimacy. Winning Public Support at Home and on the Ground

6. (C//NF) Noting the low levels of support for the war in Afghanistan among the British public, Ashdown argued that if HMG wants to win public support it needs to do a better job of making the case -- convincing the public this is important and demonstrating on the ground the ability to turn the situation around. The British public has not had to deal with such large numbers of casualties in recent history. That said, Ashdown argued, they are ¬ squeamish8 and will &be in for the long haul8 once the case is properly made.

7. (C//NF) Perhaps as important as finding a new message at home is the challenge of finding a new message on the ground, Ashdown said. &Making the world safe for democracy,8 simply does not resonate well in Afghanistan; it is far too Western-centric. Ashdown argued that, if we want to win over the Afghan public, the international community will have to come up with a message that Afghans can support. Liberal Democrats Support in Afghanistan

8. (C//NF) Comment: Ashdown assured us that, if President Obama,s Afghanistan strategy addresses some of these concerns, the U.S. can count on Liberal Democratic support. While he did not say it, however, the implication was that any plan that did not directly address these concerns would call his party,s support into question. This fits with LONDON 00002581 002.2 OF 002 ////////ZFR CANCEL THIS MESSAGE. MESSAGE WILL BE RESENT WITH NEW MRN././//////////////////// party leader Nick Clegg,s November 13 Times op-ed (ref A), in which Clegg implied he would struggle to support a plan that did not meet the very high bar that he believes Obama needs to set. Liberal Democrats currently hold 63 seats in Parliament (out of 646) and the latest polls show their support at 19 percent. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


WMO: Another La Niña Impacts Temperatures And Precipitation – But Not Climate Change
La Niña has developed for the second consecutive year and is expected to last into early 2022, influencing temperatures and precipitation. Despite the cooling influence of this naturally occurring climate phenomenon, temperatures in many parts of the world are expected to be above average because of the accumulated heat trapped in the atmosphere...

UN: Violations Of Palestinian Rights Puts Two-State Solution At Risk, Chief Warns
The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continues to pose a significant challenge to international peace and security, United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, said on Monday... More>>

Oxfam: Afghanistan Faces Multiple Crises

ActionStation, Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, Christian World Service, Oxfam Aotearoa and World Vision New Zealand say that while Afghanistan faces chronic poverty, persistent droughts, war, the Covid-19 pandemic and an economic crisis, winter is about to bring a whole new set of challenges...More>>

World Food Programme: Millions More In Need Of Food Assistance As A Direct Result Of Conflict In Northern Ethiopia

The number of people in need of humanitarian food assistance across northern Ethiopia has grown to an estimated 9.4 million as a direct result of ongoing conflict, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today... More>>

Food: Three Billion People Cannot Afford A Healthy Diet

Approximately three billion people, almost 40 per cent of the world’s population, cannot afford a healthy diet and another one billion people would join their ranks should further unpredictable events reduce incomes by one-third, the UN food agency said, launching a new report on Tuesday... More>>

COP26: Enough Of ‘Treating Nature Like A Toilet’ – Guterres Brings Stark Call For Climate Action To Glasgow
As the World Leaders Summit opened on day two of COP26, UN chief António Guterres sent a stark message to the international community. “We are digging our own graves”, he said, referring to the addiction to fossil fuels which threatens to push humanity and the planet, to the brink, through unsustainable global heating... More>>

  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC