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Cablegate: U.S.-Brunei Defense Dialogue

VZCZCXRO2721
RR RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHBD #0267 3130341
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 090341Z NOV 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4697
RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 3561

UNCLAS BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 000267

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/MTS/COPPOLAMG, EAP/MTS/BISCHOFD EAP/RSP,
PM/PETRONEC, PM/KIMH
SINGAPORE FOR DAO/SEABAUGHK

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL BX
SUBJECT: U.S.-BRUNEI DEFENSE DIALOGUE

REF: STATE 00112900

SUMMARY
-------
1. (SBU) The U.S. and Brunei conduct an annual defense dialogue via
the Joint Defense Working Committee (JDWC). The JDWC began in 1996
and this year's host is U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM). Brunei
participates in the annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training
Exercise (CARAT) with the U.S. Military. Brunei's military takes
advantage of professional development and educational opportunities
via the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) and the
U.S. Military Academies. Brunei continues to expand its
international peacekeeping role. Operational and organizational
limitations hinder a wider range of cooperative opportunities but
the U.S. military, in conjunction with the U.S. embassy, continue to
seek further engagement and dialogue with Brunei's military. The
engagement is welcome if not always fully reciprocated. End
Summary.


JOINT DEFENSE WORKING COMMITTEE
-------------------------------
2.(SBU) US Pacific Command (PACOM), J52 Southeast Asia Policy
Division and Brunei Defense Policy at the Ministry of Defense
annually hold the Joint Defense Working Committee (JDWC). JDWC is an
important avenue to discuss bilateral defense initiatives covering
military training, exercises, personnel exchange and increasing
information sharing. The yearly meetings also serve as an important
platform to explore new areas in bilateral defense cooperation.
Hosting the JDWC rotates between the two nations' military and the
2009 JDWC will be hosted by PACOM. Embassy is represented by DCM and
Political Assistant.

3.(SBU) Topics and initiatives that have been discussed at JDWC
include; Brunei's participation as an observer at the ASEAN Regional
Forum Voluntary Demonstration of Response (ARF VDR) on Disaster
Relief co-hosted by the Philippines and U.S.; and Brunei
participation in the UN Global Peacekeeping Operations Initiatives
(GPOI) in Khaan Quest, Mongolia in 2007 and at Shanti Doot,
Bangladesh in 2008. Ongoing initiatives include; the signing of the
ACSA (Acquisition Cross - Servicing Agreement), as well as the U.S.
- Brunei Intelligence Exchange.


CARAT
--------
4.(SBU) The JDWC also includes discussion on new training components
suggested to be included in the annual U.S. - Brunei military
Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training Exercise (CARAT).
COMLOGWESTPAC and Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) participated in
CARAT. Every year RBAF and COMLOGWESTPAC meet for the initial
planning conference and final planning conference. RBAF perceive
CARAT as an excellent training platform. RBAF takes advantage of
COMLOGWESTPAC assets in broadening its exercise scope to include
vast majority of RBAF components including its new Joint Force
Operation Center, as well as including Bruneian civilian law
enforcement agencies. RBAF and COMLOGWESTPAC also engage in the
multilateral Southeast Asia Cooperation against Terrorism (SEACAT)
exercise annually.


TRAINING
--------
5.(U) Brunei Ministry of Defense has been sending senior and
mid-level personnel to the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies
(APCSS) annually as part of its orientation and training on Asia
-Pacific region. Today, Brunei has 52 APCSS alumni. The Ministry
has a keen interest in sending their cadets to U.S. military
academies under the ministry's scholarship scheme. One Brunei cadet
graduated from West Point this year and there is one Brunei cadet
currently at the U.S. Air Force Academy.


COMMENT
-------
6. (SBU) The U.S. Military, in cooperation with Embassy, continue to
seek further engagement with Brunei's military. Organizational and
cultural limitations hinder the ability of Brunei's military to
respond in timely manner but the continued outreach by the USG is
appreciated. Brunei is looking to expand their expertise in
international peacekeeping operations. The U.S. Military's
professionalism, training, and operational expertise is admired and
appreciated by Brunei's military.

TODD

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