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Cablegate: Limiting Visitor Travel to Afghanistan

VZCZCXRO7284
RR RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHBUL #4190 3631550
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291550Z DEC 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0288
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4355
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS KABUL 004190

DEPARTMENT FOR S/SRAP, SCA/FO, SCA/A, EUR/RPM,
H, S/CRS
STATE PASS TO AID FOR ASIA/SCAA
USFOR-A FOR POLAD
NSC
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FOR
IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT
FBI
CIA
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL AF AMGT
SUBJECT: LIMITING VISITOR TRAVEL TO AFGHANISTAN
FOR NEAR TERM

REF: A. DEC 21 GEN MCCHRYSTAL LETTER TO CENTCOM COMMANDER; B:
STATE 128095; C: ISLAMABAD 3010

1. (SBU) We request all agencies' support to postpone all executive
branch travel that is not both urgent and strictly necessary, to
limit the number and duration of visits, and to reduce the size of
delegations to Afghanistan from January through June 2010. Our
request complements and supports the letter issued by COMISAF
General McChrystal on December 21
(https://kabulcollaboration.state.gov/ sites/sbu/exec/default.aspx)
urging that travel to theater be deferred until after June 2010 and
Islamabad's similar request to limit travel to Pakistan (Reftel C).

2. (SBU) We are giving priority to Congressional Delegations, and
are devoting substantial logistical and human resources to this
effort. The Embassy faces an unprecedented volume of Executive and
Congressional visit requests, in particular throughout January and
early February. We are substantially increasing support resources
(beds, vehicles, aircraft, etc.) in the coming weeks in order to
cope with the sharp increase in the size of our permanent mission.
Meanwhile, we are working all-out to maintain operations in a high
threat environment (ALDAC Ref B described limited accommodations at
Post). Embassy resources are now fully deployed, and continued or
high volume of visitors will meaningfully impact our ability to
carry out our core missions.

3. (SBU) We ask executive branch visitors' understanding of these
realities, and agency headquarters' support for our mission by
rigorously reviewing all prospective travel requests both for
urgency and necessity.

RICCIARDONE

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