Cablegate: Germany/Munich Security Conference: Scene Setter
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4982
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 MUNICH 000307
DEPT FOR EUR/CE; DEPT PASS SENATORS KERRY, MCCAIN,
LIEBERMAN, LUGAR; DEFENSE FOR OSD/POLICY - RDOTSON
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR NATO EUN PARM PGOV ASEC RS AF ZL
SUBJECT: GERMANY/MUNICH SECURITY CONFERENCE: SCENE SETTER
FOR THE FEBRUARY 5 - 7, 2010 CONFERENCE
1. (SBU) This is an action request. Please see paragraph
13. The 46th annual Munich Security Conference (MSC) runs
from Friday afternoon, February 5, 2010 to mid-day Sunday,
February 7, 2010, at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Munich.
The draft agenda, which follows at paragraph 9 (NOTE: please
protect, subject to change) promises discussions on resource
security, European security, arms control and the NPT,
prospects for Middle East peace, and the future of NATO. The
annual Munich Security Conference is famous for its informal
atmosphere, unofficial character, and high-level participants
from government, the military, the diplomatic corps, the
media and academia in over 45 countries and five
international organizations. More than 70 heads of state or
government and foreign and defense ministers normally attend.
Nevertheless, the MSC is not a Summit. An informal and
exclusive setting, it promotes lively debate and dialogue and
creates rich opportunities for bilateral consultations at any
time on the margins. The organizers have invited a range of
USG leaders, including Vice President Biden, Secretaries
Clinton, Gates, and Chu, as well as Senators McCain,
Lieberman, Lugar and Kerry, among others. End Summary.
The US has a Special Relationship to the MSC
2. (SBU) The German MSC organizers, now chaired by
Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, acknowledge repeatedly the
special US-German relationship at this conference and they
will maintain it even as the MSC agenda broadens. Since the
beginning -- 46 years ago -- the German hosts have worked
closely with the United States as a partner in producing the
conference. Seeing us as the "first delegation among
equals," they have ensured us prime speaking slots, ample
seats in the Plenary hall, and accommodation of special
requests. In exchange, subject to the guest list drawn up by
the organizers, the United States has always proven its
importance by sending a high-level delegation, composed of
Cabinet officers, prominent politicians, senior diplomats,
and military leaders, as well as academics, media
representatives, and private Americans representing
themselves or non-governmental organizations. Ambassador
Ischinger, former German Ambassador to Washington and London,
believes that Senators McCain and Lieberman will organize a
CODEL in 2010 as they have in past years. The MSC has
invited UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon; NATO Secretary
General Rasmussen has already accepted. Chancellor Merkel
will participate, joined by leaders from the European Union
and from other regions. The MSC believes Russia's delegation
could be the prelude to President Medvedev's coming in 2011.
The organizers expect high-level USG speakers will address
the MSC at appropriate, prominent places in the program.
These speaking opportunities will emerge in bilateral
discussions as the conference plans mature. (NOTE: Ambassador
Ischinger bio: https://www.intelink.gov/diplopedia/
The Traditional Conference Rejuvenates
3. (SBU) US Invitees:
In addition to official representatives of the Administration
and Congress, the MSC regularly invites other influential
Americans. Private participating Americans, such as former
Secretaries of State Kissinger and Albright, former National
Security Advisors, and former members of Congress can be
affiliated with the CODEL or USDEL, making this event unique
MUNICH 00000307 002 OF 004
in many respects. Other delegations are similarly rich with
notable participants in the security and foreign policy
fields. Though the conference itself is closed to press,
there is a rich media presence reporting from the margins.
4. (SBU) To stimulate fresh thinking and with an eye to the
future, Ambassador Ischinger continues work begun last year
on rejuvenating the MSC while retaining its exclusive,
informal character. He is considering how to shake up the
roster of habitual participants somewhat by including new
faces and more younger leaders from a wider variety of
backgrounds while still including the most important security
policy leaders who have come for years. We understand that
his approach has already resulted in some disappointment on
the part of former participants who have not been invited
this year. He is also widening the focus from transatlantic
and European security issues to include other global issues
affecting international peace and stability, such as energy.
He has secured financial support from Linde and BMW and seeks
other corporate sponsors. Finally, to broaden the exposure
of the MSC to the fresh ideas, he will continue with the
Young Leaders Roundtable on Security Policy that will convene
a day earlier, on February 4, and run through the MSC.
5. (U) Bilateral Consultations for USG Principals:
The MSC presents many opportunities for bilateral
consultations between members of the USDEL and members of
other delegations. ConGen Munich will make appropriate
logistical arrangements to facilitate these meetings,
including opportunities for social networking and internet
presences, as appropriate.
6. (SBU) SecDef Cocktail Reception:
Mission Germany recalls the successful cocktail reception
hosted in the past by the Secretary of Defense for Members of
the German Bundestag (Parliament) and suggests repeating it
this year, if time permits, and considering adding other
selected guests, as appropriate.
7. (SBU) High-Level Meeting with the Bavarian CSU:
The MSC organizers and the Bavarian Christian Social Union
(CSU) political party are already planning a repeat of the
popular meeting between CSU representatives and senior
members of the US Delegation on the Friday morning, before
the official opening of the conference. The CSU is a member
of the Federal coalition government. This has become a
sold-out event since first instituted in 2006. Defense
Minister General Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, of the CSU, has
been invited to lead the discussion. (Zu Guttenberg's
unclassified bio: http://intelink.gov/diplopedia/
index.php?title=Karl Theodor Freiherr zu Guttenberg)
High-Level Invitees from Other Countries
8. (SBU) In addition to German Chancellor Merkel, German
Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Defense Minister
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg could be expected to lead the
German delegation. The MSC organizers (please protect)
believe that the Russian Federation is signaling that
President Medvedev will come next year, in 2011, in the
run-up to the Russian presidential elections, and that this
year the Russian delegation would be led by a prominent
member of the government. Russian PM Putin has not been
invited. Afghan Foreign Minister Spanta is invited.
Georgian President Saakashvili has not been invited. Iranian
participation is not yet clear.
MUNICH 00000307 003 OF 004
Schedule and Notional Topics of Sessions
9. (SBU) Here is the notional schedule with proposed topics
of discussion. CAVEAT: The MSC organizers have told us that
this notional schedule is subject to change and should
not/not be disseminated outside the USG. PLEASE PROTECT.
Thursday, February 4
Pre-conference event: Young Leaders Roundtable (YLR) on
Security Policy. A prominent US speaker will be invited to
address the YLR on Thursday or Friday morning. In 2009,
USNATO Ambassador Volker was the speaker.
Friday, February 5
Morning: Young Leaders Roundtable on Security Policy
11:30 - 13:30 (approx.): USDEL Roundtable Discussion with
the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), including German
Defense Minister zu Guttenberg (invited).
15:30 - 18:30: Opening of the Conference. Plenary Session
of MSC. "Resource Security and Shifting Global Power."
Opening statement by Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman
of the MSC.
Keynote Statement. Speaker TBD. Reactions from a panel and/or
the audience follow.
19:00 - 22:00: Reception followed by Dinner, hosted by the
Mayor of the City of Munich, Christian Ude, at the Old City
Hall ("Altes Rathaus,") downtown Munich. (NOTE: this is a
return to past practice by the city and an important signal
of a fresh start of the city's relationship with the MSC
which soured during the Iraq war.)
Saturday, February 6
9:00 - 13:00: Plenary Session. "The Future of European and
Global Security." This Session will feature set speeches by
panelists followed by discussion.
13:00 - 15:00 Lunch hosted by the MSC organizers.
15:00 - 16:30: Panel Discussion One: "The Future of Arms
Control and the NPT: Is Zero Possible?"
17:00 - 18:30 Panel Discussion Two: "Regional Security in
the Middle East: Is Peace at Hand?"
20:00: Dinner hosted by the State of Bavaria and Bavarian
Minister President Horst Seehofer. (Seehofer bio:
Sunday, February 7
9:00 - 13:15: Plenary Session: The Future of NATO: Its
Strategy and its Missions. Speeches, panel discussions.
Closing Statement by Chairman Ischinger.
13:30 Informal Closing Buffet lunch (optional).
MUNICH 00000307 004 OF 004
10. (SBU) Conference Facilities
The MSC will again use the Bayerischer Hof Hotel as its
headquarters and main conference venue. Seating, and
therefore invitations to participants in the conference, will
be extremely limited again this year as the conference
organizers intend to maintain the intimate character of the
MSC and they must also respect the size limits of the venue.
There are 300 seats for participants this year, down from
350. (Note: The MSC will not use public conference rooms for
meetings outside the hotel as it did last year but will use
that space to house the press.) Conference organizers consult
closely with the Bavarian and German authorities on security
arrangements and work closely with the RSO and Consulate
11. (U) Munich Young Leaders Round Table on Security Policy
(YLR), February 4 - 7:
For a pre-conference event, the MSC has again invited 25
young leaders (from Germany, NATO member states, Partnership
for Peace Member States, Member States in the Mediterranean
Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative) to come to
Munich one day earlier for a program and debate forum
designed especially for them. On the morning of February 5,
the MSC hopes that a high-level member or members from the US
Delegation will address the Young Leaders before the formal
opening of the MSC that afternoon. The Young Leaders then
join the MSC as Observers after their own program ends. The
Koerber Foundation is organizing the YLR (Official link to
the Young Leaders Roundtable:
12. (U) Planning Ahead for Funding for MSC costs:
Supporting a large, complex conference like the MSC with many
high-level USDEL members comes with unique costs for the USG.
Fund cites for travelers and normal program funds cover most
of the additional costs. However, Mission Germany wishes to
draw the attention of the Department that there will be new
costs this year for bilateral consultation and delegation
control rooms. In the past, the MSC provided these free of
charge, but no longer. This year, these rooms will cost
approximately USD 6000 (five converted hotel rooms for three
nights at USD 400 per night).
13. (U) Action request: Mission Germany strongly favors
early decisions on participation by a strong US Delegation
lead by senior Administration and Congressional officials.
We note that the MSC falls one week after the London
Afghanistan conference and could be a prime venue for follow
up and nailing down support.
14. (U) Consulate General Munich coordinated this cable
with Embassy Berlin.