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Cablegate: Australians Expand Ausaid, Increase Civilian

VZCZCXRO6327
PP RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHBUL #3867/01 3371158
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 031158Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3710
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 0316
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE PRIORITY 0711
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 003867

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/02/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS NATO AF
SUBJECT: AUSTRALIANS EXPAND AUSAID, INCREASE CIVILIAN
CONTRIBUTIONS/ REPORT TRIBAL INTEREST IN RECONCILIATION

Clas...
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 003867

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/02/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV MOPS NATO AF
SUBJECT: AUSTRALIANS EXPAND AUSAID, INCREASE CIVILIAN
CONTRIBUTIONS/ REPORT TRIBAL INTEREST IN RECONCILIATION

Classified By: CDA Joseph Mussomeli. Reasons: 1.4 (b)&(d).

1. (C) SUMMARY: In his pre-departure outcall December
3, Australian Ambassador Martin Quinn made no indication
of a possible troop increase but noted Australia plans
to increase civilian contributions, including by
increasing police advisors from three to twenty-five.
The Australian Special Ops task force will continue to
work closely with the US Special Ops forces, but the
Australian focus will be moving toward new initiatives
and deployment of civilians, including AUSAID
development assistance in less-controlled areas. Quinn
noted that Afghans in rural areas say they are tired of
fighting and welcome reintegration programs.
End Summary.

2. (C) In a December 3 meeting Australian Ambassador
Martin Quinn recounted to Ambassador Eikenberry that
earlier that day FM Spanta told him that GIRoA is still
unhappy about the London conference. Quinn also said
that during Australian PM Kevin Rudd's November 11 visit
with Australian troops in Uruzgan, Rudd had delivered
(by phone) a tough message to Karzai. According to
Quinn, Karzai had blamed POTUS for Afghanistan's current
problems in a rambling incoherent response. Quinn did
not elaborate but noted that the Government of Australia
was unhappy about comments Karzai made in his November 9
NPR interview with Margaret Warner in which Karzai said
the West is not in Afghanistan for the sake of
Afghanistan, but to fight the war on terror.

3. (C) Observers, perspectives of the political and
security situation in Afghanistan had been more
optimistic in early 2008, but attitudes have swung from
too optimistic to too pessimistic, opined Quinn. Policy
shouldn't be determined based on optimism or pessimism,
assessed Quinn, we just need to keep working at it.
Uruzgan had been a mess a couple of years ago,
troubled by lots of tribal problems, but with good
efforts, today it is much more stable and secure.
Australia plans to continue to increase its development
projects in Afghanistan and is moving into less
controlled areas such as Dai Kundi, where new projects
include construction of a gravel road.

Tribal Interest in Reintegration; Expansion of
Development Assistance and Increasing Civilian
Contributions
--------------------------------------------- --

4. (C) Ambassador Quinn said his key message is that
Australia is in Afghanistan for the long haul. The
Australians have been talking to Afghans living in
tribal areas who are tired of fighting and are
interested in reintegration -- and want to benefit
from development assistance programs, continued
Quinn. On the military side the Australians had
increased their troops contributions from 1100 to
1550 this year, but also plan to increase
contributions of civilians and will increase the
number of police advisors from three to twenty-five.
AUSAID is now in Afghanistan and will undertake new
initiatives. The Australian military is moving
away from reconstruction and focusing increasingly
on training. Although the Australian Special Ops
task force will continue to work closely with the
US Special Ops forces, a large part of the
Australian focus will be moving toward new
initiatives and deployment of civilians.

Keeping Up Pressure on the Dutch to Stay
----------------------------------------
5. (C) The Australians are complying with requests
that they keep pressure on the Dutch to keep a
battle group in Uruzgan, confided Quinn. He
predicted that the Netherlands will probably
keep a PRT, but noted The Hague is under
tremendous pressure to withdraw their troops -
especially from one of the ruling coalition
partners.

New Australian Ambassador to Arrive in Late December
--------------------------------------------- -------
6. (U) The meeting was the out-call for Quinn, who
departs Afghanistan December 3 to return to Canberra.

KABUL 00003867 002 OF 002


His successor Paul Foley is scheduled to arrive in
Kabul around December 28.

Mussomeli

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