Cablegate: Charge Presents Mous On Life, Security and Mobility Support
RR RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHBUL #3870/01 3371336
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 031336Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3713
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 003870
DEPARTMENT FOR SRAP, SCA/FO, SCA/A, EUR/RPM
STATE PASS TO AID FOR ASIA/SCAA
USFOR-A FOR POLAD
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AMGT PREL EAID AF
SUBJECT: CHARGE PRESENTS MOUs ON LIFE, SECURITY AND MOBILITY SUPPORT
TO COALITION PARTNERS
1. This message contains an action request in para 5.
2. Summary: Over the past week, Charge Mussomeli presented a draft
Memorandum of Understanding on Life, Security and Mobility Support
to the ambassadors of all coalition countries that have Provincial
Reconstruction Teams in which the USG may seek to place additional
civilians during the coming months. These countries are the U.K.,
France, Canada, Hungary, Sweden, Norway, Italy, The Netherlands,
Lithuania, Germany, Spain, and the Czech Republic, as well as the
special case of Poland. Almost every Ambassador received positively
Charge's presentation, although it will undoubtedly take time to vet
the draft MoU in capitals and secure final agreement. See action
request Para 5. End Summary.
3. In presenting the draft MoU to partner country embassies, Charge
explained that the U.S. would soon have more than 400 civilians in
Afghanistan outside of Kabul. In this context, we seek a more
structured arrangement with PRTs led by coalition partners in the
north and west of Afghanistan. Our proposed agreement, while not
legally binding, would establish a framework for cooperation for
what have been until now largely ad hoc arrangements. The MoU would
provide a mechanism for USG payment to coalition PRTs for support
services provided; it would also set forth general PRT obligations
for the provision of life, security and mobility support to USG
civilians. Charge made clear the U.S. would welcome whatever office
and living space that PRTs could provide to incoming U.S. civilians.
Several ambassadors noted that it would be easier to accommodate
incoming civilians if the U.S. were able to provide connexes for
living and/or work space. Embassy estimates that we will need
approximately 21 such connexes (details to follow septel).
4. A brief summation of individual embassy responses to Charge's
presentation of draft MoU is as follows:
U.K. - Confirmed that discussions already underway were on track.
Embassy has sent the latest version of the MOU to London.
France - Very receptive. Will review document and forward to
Canada - Very receptive. Would welcome additional U.S. civilians at
Sweden - Receptive in principle, but concerned about space limits at
PRT Mazar. Connexes would help.
Norway - Extremely receptive -- would "like to sign immediately."
The ambassador said Norway was not interested in charging us.
Italy - Receptive and will forward the agreement to Rome.
Netherlands - Receptive. Interested in "internationalizing" the
Dutch PRT. Optimistic that room would be found.
Germany - Receptive. The Ambassador noted that the PRT in Kunduz
was being upgraded/enlarged to make room for an additional company
to strengthen German police training efforts.
Lithuania - Would welcome additional Americans at PRT Chagcharan,
but thought it would be easier if connexes were provided. (Note:
Post is planning to send two containers to Chagcharan. End note.)
Spain - Receptive; will forward draft MoU to Madrid for review.
Czech Republic - Charge noted that, for now, U.S. civilians would be
embedded with the U.S. Brigade Task Force in Logar, rather than at
the PRT. Czech Ambassador complimented the brigade's relationship
with the Czech PRT and expressed appreciation for being kept
Poland - Charge explained that the situation in Ghazni was unique:
a U.S. PRT located within a Polish-operated base that is still owned
by USFOR-A. While we wanted to inform the Polish government of our
approaches to other coalition countries, we acknowledged that our
draft MoU template might have to be modified substantially to fit
the situation in Ghazni. The Polish Ambassador agreed that
relations between the PRT and brigade were excellent, and that
additional USG civilians would be welcome. Living and office space
are very tight, he added, but there would be ample room for connexes
if the U.S. could provide them.
Hungary - Ambassador was personally supportive, saying that the
Hungarian MFA thought the PRT in Pul-e-Kumri needed more civilians.
Nevertheless, he warned that we could expect resistance from the
Hungarian MoD, to which the PRT reported. The main problem was
extremely limited space at the PRT - even if the U.S. provided its
own containers. The Ambassador said the GOH had looked into
enlarging the PRT, but defense budget problems made this unlikely
KABUL 00003870 002 OF 002
for the foreseeable future. He suggested, however, that the MOD
might be more flexible if approached directly by the U.S. Embassy in
5. Action Requested: Embassy Kabul recommends that the Department
instruct Embassy Budapest to demarche the Hungarian Ministry of
Defense to request favorable consideration of the MoU and
accommodation of a limited number of USG civilians (less than five)
at PRT Pul-e-Kumri in Baghlan Province.
6. Comment: The MOUs, once concluded, will go a long way toward
clarifying the awkward situation faced by our personnel at several
coalition-led installations, i.e. receiving services (and being
billed) without being able to pay. Despite the almost uniformly
favorably reaction to our draft by partner country embassies in
Kabul, it will take time for each government to vet (and hopefully
approve) the document. For this reason, even if most countries
ultimately sign the MoU, the new framework's benefits will lie
primarily in giving us increased flexibility to manage the placement
of civilians arriving after the year-end surge currently underway.