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Cablegate: U.S.-Cambodia Security Dialogues

VZCZCXRO6918
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHPF #0838 3170816
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 130816Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1356
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS PHNOM PENH 000838

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, PM, EAP/RSP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL CB
SUBJECT: U.S.-CAMBODIA SECURITY DIALOGUES

REF: STATE 112900

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

1. (U) The U.S.-Cambodia military-to-military relationship has
expanded significantly in recent years, resulting in enhanced
security cooperation. Post's response to reftel's request for
information on U.S.-Cambodia security dialogues is below.
2. (SBU) The U.S. and Cambodia established an annual Bilateral
Defense Dialogue (BDD) in August 2008 with a formal meeting between
USPACOM and the Ministry of National Defense (MoND). The last BDD
was held in July 2009 and the next meeting is expected to take place
in August 2010. There is an informal understanding that these
discussions will take place annually, alternating the locations
between Cambodia and the U.S. The BDD is a USPACOM-level dialogue
focusing on operational topics of mutual concern and coordination of
security cooperation activities. The BDD illustrates the broadening
and deepening of the military-to-military relationship and is an
additional mechanism to further strengthen the U.S.-Cambodia
bilateral relationship.
3. (SBU) In response to the stronger military-to-military
relationship, the U.S. and Cambodia established a Security
Cooperation Coordination Group (SCCG) in September 2009. The SCCG
was established by an exchange of memorandums between MoND and the
Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC). SCCG is a liaison/coordination
group that meets regularly on operational issues involving Theater
Security Cooperation activity implementation. The SCCG establishes
designated Liaison Officers in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces
(RCAF) for specific areas of security cooperation and is intended to
enable RCAF to reduce bureaucratic obstacles that heretofore have
impeded execution of security cooperative activities.

4. (SBU) As a result of the September 2009 visit of Cambodian Deputy
Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Tea Banh to Washington, D.C.,
and his meeting with the Secretary of Defense, a Defense Policy
Dialogue (DPD) at the Office of the Secretary of Defense-MoND level
is currently under negotiation. A Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Defense will lead the U.S. side at the DPD. The meetings will occur
annually, alternating between Cambodia and Washington. Staff
officers in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Policy
Planning Department within the MoND are currently negotiating the
details concerning the mechanics of the meetings. The DPD will
focus at the Strategic level and encompass the full range of U.S.-
Cambodian military relations, to include regional issues.

RODLEY

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