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Cablegate: Finland Considers Additional Contributions In

VZCZCXRO2806
RR RUEHSL
DE RUEHHE #0447 3341511
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 301511Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5300
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0105
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L HELSINKI 000447

SIPDIS

NSC FOR J.HOVENIER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/29/2019
TAGS: PREL NATO MOPS MARR AF FI
SUBJECT: FINLAND CONSIDERS ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS IN
AFGHANISTAN

REF: A. SECSTATE 120807
B. 2009 HELSINKI 441

Classified By: PolEcon Chief Scott Brandon for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (SBU) On November 25 Ambassador raised REF A
points with MFA State Secretary Pertti Torstila.
Torstila said the government would not make any
statements regarding possible expanded
participation in Afghanistan until after the
President formally announces the policy.

2. (C) The same day Pol/Econ Chief also delivered
demarche points to Anu Laamanen, the MFA's Deputy
Director General of the Political Unit. Laamanen
welcomed the imminent formal announcement of the
Afghanistan-Pakistan policy, noting how closely and
cooperatively the U.S. and Finland have worked
together in the northern region. She indicated
that she was not in a position to speak about
possible additional contributions, pointing out
that the government already had an outstanding
request for additional troops from the NATO
Secretary General that they had yet to discuss.
She added that the Finns need to consult with the
Swedes and the Germans about the situation in the
north before they arrive at a decision. Signaling
the difficulty Finland faces, Laamanen said that
increasing contributions to Trust Funds are far
more achievable than getting additional people on
the ground. (NOTE: Previously, the MFA's Security
Policy Unit head cast doubt on media reports
raising the possibility of a doubling of troops to
200 in 2011, but said that Finland might increase
police trainers from 24 to 30 (REF B). This might
point to a lack of interagency coordination, as the
MoD is undertaking a review of its PRT
contributions (see below). END NOTE)

3. (C) During a November 30 conversation with
Deputy Defense Minister Rimpi and MoD Policy
Director Jarvenpaa, DCM reviewed our need for
greater Finnish participation in Afghnistan. The
Mod officials noted that President Halonen had
received a request for troops from NATO SecGen
Rasmussen the week before. Rimpi and Jarvenpaa
were open to the troop requests, while describing
practical difficulties the GoF had in filling both
their PRT and OMLT positions. According to
Jarvenpaa, the GoF was currently trying to fill 25
empty PRT billets, and were also having trouble
identifying reserve or recently-retired field-grade
officers to advise Afghan units in OMLTs.
Jarvenpaa added that the MoD was undertaking a
policy-level review of the role of the
Swedish/Finnish PRT, and predicted that Finland
would adjust its presence to conform with a more
civilian orientation. They warned, however, that
the issue would have to work its way through the
parliament's 2010 budget process, leaving any
effective changes until 2011.
ORECK

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