Cablegate: Thirteenth Meeting of the Afghan Joint Coordination And


DE RUEHBUL #0246/01 0251537
O 251537Z JAN 10




E.O. 12958 N/A

1. (U) SUMMARY: The Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB)
is the central platform for strategic coordination, joint policy
formulation, problem solving and mutual accountability between the
Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) and the
international community (IC). The agenda for the thirteenth meeting
of the JCMB included the presentation of a series of papers focused
on setting clear security, governance, and development priorities in
preparation for the January 28, 2010 London conference and a
subsequent spring Kabul conference.

2. (U) JCMB-XIII decided to endorse: i) three GIRoA policy papers in
preparation for the London and Kabul Conferences: An Integrated Plan
for Economic Development (a.k.a. the cluster paper); More Effective
Afghan Aid; and the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program; ii) an
Afghan National Army (ANA) increase up to 171,600 by October 2011;
and iii) an Afghan National Police (ANP) increase up to 134,000 by
October 2011. Both ii) and iii) also called for international
support to train and equip these levels. The GIRoA requested
comments from the international community on the Afghan National
Police Strategy and Anti-Corruption and Governance (Rule of Law and
Human Rights) papers for donor endorsement prior to the London
Conference. During the JCMB session, the GIRoA and IC repeatedly
stressed the importance of translating the London discussions and
broad frameworks into action plans including specific benchmarks for
the Kabul conference tentatively slated for the Spring. END

3. (U) JCMB-XIII convened January 20, 2010 in Kabul, co-chaired by
Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal and UN SRSG Kai Eide. The U.S. was
represented by Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, Ambassador Anthony Wayne,
Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs, and
William Frej, USAID Director.


4. (U) The Integrated Plan for Economic Development (a.k.a. Cluster
paper) and More Effective Afghan Aid papers presented by Finance
Minister Zakhilwal were well received by the IC. The plans focus on
building Afghan capacity, improving budget execution rates in key
spending ministries, tackling corruption, and creating an enabling
environment for donors to channel more resources on budget.
Specifically, the Cluster approach aims to consolidate coordination
within the GIRoA. The previous 17 Inter-Ministerial Committees were
excessive - with too many focal points for donors. The new proposed
clusters are:

i. Agriculture and Rural Development
ii. Human Resource Development
iii. Infrastructure and Economic Development.

The JCMB approved plans to add a Governance cluster. Finance
Minister Zakhilwal also proposed that donors utilize the Civilian
Technical Assistance Program to coordinate their efforts to improve
the capacity of government departments to boost their low budget
execution rates for national programs.

5. (U) In terms of aid effectiveness, Finance Minister Zakhilwal
requested that the IC increase the percentage of aid channeled
through the budget, highlighting significant progress made in the
area of Public Financial Management. GIRoA committed to working
with donors to strengthen its efforts to improve the transparency of
public expenditures, including internal and independent audit
functions, and increasing the capacity and accountability of its
management systems at sub-national levels. Ambassador Eikenberry
indicated that the U.S. plans to channel significantly more
assistance through the government's budget, compared to the past
year (Note: The U.S. aim is to increase the percentage of U.S.
assistance that flows directly through GIRoA institutions to 40
percent by FY 2011. End note.).


6. (U) Special Advisor to the President on Internal Security,
Mohammad Massoom Stanekzai presented the Afghan-led Peace and
Re-integration program. The aim of this Program is to promote peace
through a political process and encourage Taliban fighters and
leaders to renounce violence. The program mirrors President
Karzai's vision outlined in his second inauguration speech, and is
split into two broad categories: a) the tactical and operational
level; and b) the strategic reconciliation level.

7. (U) Key points made on the Peace and Reintegration program
included the need for: i) a communications strategy; ii) a donor
funding mechanism approved in London; iii) clear identification of a
lead agency/individual; and iv) further engagement with regional
neighbors. The GIRoA committed to publicly announce the program
prior to the London Conference as a signal of Afghan-ownership and
to help mobilize financial and political support in donor capitals.



8. (U) Minister of Defense, General Abdul Raheem Wardak and Minister
of Interior, Hanif Atmar presented the growth rates and reform
agenda of the ANA and ANP, respectively. JCMB endorsed the
following growth rates: i) the ANA reaching 134,000 and the ANP
109,000 by October 2010; and ii) the ANA growing to 171,600 and the
ANP to 134,000 by Oct 2011. It is important to note that JCMB
approval will enable ISAF/NTM-A to plan and acquire the necessary
equipment and infrastructure to support the forces as they grow.
The IC requested additional time for comments on the overall
strategy and frameworks, particularly concerning the ANP strategy.

9. (U) Key points on ANA and ANP growth rates and reforms included:
i) establishing a timeline for transition; ii) the importance of
linking the ANP strategy to the rubric of an overall National
Security Strategy with a long term vision for securing Afghanistan;
iii) strengthening police capability in COIN; iv) developing a
robust civilian policing capacity; and v) linking initiatives to
national development programs. The JCMB also noted positive signals
in Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) progress, highlighting the
effective ANSF-led responses to the January 18 attacks in Kabul -
quelled within a five-hour timeframe.


10. (U) General Director of IDLG, Jelani Popal presented a revised
governance paper. The paper prioritized five areas of governance:
i) national governance and policy coordination; ii) civil service
reform; iii) sub-national governance, iv) rule of law; and v) human
rights. The IC broadly welcomed the revised governance paper.
Ambassador Wayne expressed strong support for the follow-on London
discussion of these topics, followed by the development of specific
action plans, commitments and realistic benchmarks for the Kabul
Conference. Key recommendations made during the governance
presentation included: i) additional review of international
treaties to avoid potential conflicting legislation; ii)
consultations with GIRoA on projects and programs, as opposed to
having all projects and programs jointly approved; and iii) the
incorporation of additional language related to women and vulnerable
groups, specifically in terms of implementation of the National
Action Plan for Women.


11. (U) The JCMB took note of the regional cooperation concept paper
presented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Enayatullah Nabiel.
The paper addresses regional challenges including terrorism,
extremism, militancy, narcotics production and trafficking and
organized crime. The IC welcomed a focus on regional economic
cooperation, specifically the government's commitment to sign the
Afghanistan Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement (APTTA) before the
up-coming Kabul Conference. A notable comment was made by Iran,
typically silent at past JCMBs, seeking clarification on what role
NATO/ISAF and the EU play in regional interventions.


12. (U) Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai outlined steps to combat
corruption, noting four key principles that will guide the process
of reform: i) the cabinet will be relied upon as the key
organization for ensuring the collective responsibility of the
executive branch; ii) the GIRoA will work closely with Parliament to
create the legal foundation of a system of governance committed to
accountability and transparency; iii) the GIRoA will work closely
with the Supreme Court to transform the judiciary into the trusted
instrument for delivery of justice and the ultimate national organ
for upholding and enforcing the rule of law; iv) all three branches
of the state will reach out to Afghan citizens to provide them with
meaningful channels and mechanism for voicing their grievances and
to participate in government.

13. (U) The anti-corruption plan calls for the President to create
an Independent Oversight Board by decree to oversee the functions of
the HOO. The President will order that the special anti-corruption
offices in the Attorney General's Office, the Auditor General's
office, and the Major Crimes Task Force are transferred to HOO to
ensure coordinated action. The GIRoA will assign priority during
2010 to legislating law on an Anti-Corruption Penal Code for the
purpose of expanding provisions related to asset declaration by
public officials. The GIRoA's anti-corruption paper was well
received by donors. Co-chairs Eide and Zakhilwal requested
comments and endorsement of the overall anti-corruption framework
prior to the London conference, with specific actions, benchmarks,
and commitments to be fleshed out before the Kabul conference.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Weather: Pacific Likely To Experience Double Dip La Niña Episode

The Pacific is likely to experience a rare occurrence of what is called a double dip La Niña in the coming months, Climate models and predictions tools used by Pacific National Meteorological and Hydrological services (NMHSs) show...

CNS: Will India's 1 Billion Vaccination-dose-milestone Be Catalytic For Vaccinating All?

On 21 October 2021, India crossed its milestone of administering over 1 billion (100 crores) doses within 278 days since it began the vaccination rollout (on 16th January 2021)... More>>

UN: UNHCR Chief Urges Better Support For 13 Million 'Exhausted' And Displaced Syrians
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has urged greater international support for the more than 13 million Syrians who’ve been displaced in the past 10 years...More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

Pacific: Young Climate Leaders Call For Urgent Climate Action Ahead Of COP26

Eight Pacific Young Climate Leaders shared their experiences of climate resilience and activism in an inaugural dialogue with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Mr Henry Puna on 21 October 2021... More>>

UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>

COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>