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Cablegate: Interior Minister Atmar Discusses Police Training;

VZCZCXRO2665
RR RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHBUL #0694/01 0560558
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
R 250558Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5876
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI 0008
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 0295
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 3135
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 000694

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/25/2020
TAGS: PGOV PREL MARR MASS AF
SUBJECT: INTERIOR MINISTER ATMAR DISCUSSES POLICE TRAINING;
INSURGENT REINTEGRATION WITH AMBASSADOR HOLBROOKE

REF: KABUL 628

Classified By: AMBASSADOR KARL EIKENBERRY FOR REASONS 1.4 (b & d)

SUMMARY
-------

1. (C/NF) In a February 17 meeting, Interior Minister
Mohammed Hanif Atmar told Ambassador Holbrooke, Ambassador
Eikenberry, and General Caldwell that:

-- he wants to train 2,000-3,000 police officer candidates
outside of Afghanistan, each year for the next five years.
Atmar is looking at Jordan, Turkey, and the UAE as possible
training sites.

-- while GIRoA cannot take reintegrated insurgents into the
Army or Police, Atmar's plan for a local defense initiative
(septel) and public companies for infrastructure and
agricultural development would meet reintegrees' economic and
security needs.

-- Saudi intervention; the finalization of GIRoA's insurgent
reintegration program; and the success of the Marjah
operations would all move insurgent reintegration forward.

-- while Atmar favors 16 weeks of training for police (which
would enable full literacy training) he believes NATO
Training Mission Afghanistan (NTM-A)'s plan for a condensed
six week program as acceptable, providing the number of
training hours remains the same. END SUMMARY

INTERNATIONAL TRAINING FOR AFGHAN POLICE
----------------------------------------

2. (C/NF) Noting that police growth is enormously
constrained by a lack of trainers and training space,
Minister Atmar wants to send 2,000-3,000 Afghan police
officer (as distinct from enlisted) trainees to Jordan,
Turkey, and the UAE for training each year for the next five
years. Atmar's first choice is the International Police
Training Center in Jordan, which has room for 1,000 trainees
per year; facilities in Turkey and the UAE (Sharjah Police
Academy and an under-utilized UAE military facility 100kms
from Abu Dhabi) could take another 1,000 trainees each.
Atmar estimates an annual cost of $3,000 to $4,000 per pupil
per year (thus potential costs of $6 million to $12 million
per year). Atmar wants Jordan to contribute by waiving the
cost of the facility and the lodging; NATO/ISAF would pay for
transportation, food, and training materials; and the cost of
foreign trainers would be born by contributing nations.

3. (C/NF) The Minister sees several advantages to this
approach: European nations would be more willing to send
police trainers to Jordan than to Afghanistan; the prospect
of a year's training abroad would draw young, educated
Afghans into the police officer corps; a generation of Afghan
police officers trained overseas would help to break the
ANP's culture of corruption; Atmar would also send two Afghan
assistants for each international trainer, after three years
these assistants would themselves be fully qualified
trainers. Ambassador Holbrooke said he had already raised
the issue with Jordanian Foreign Minister Judeh, who was
positive and promised to follow up. NTM-A Commanding General
LTG Caldwell told Atmar that UAE, through its Kabul Defense
Attach, had made a formal offer to explore sending police
trainers to Afghanistan. Atmar asked Ambassador Holbrooke to
engage the Arab countries on Afghanistan's behalf, claiming
that they would be more responsive to an American approach.
Holbrooke agreed to do so, and asked Lt. General Caldwell to
provide him with precise asks.

REINTEGRATION REQUIRES JOBS AND SECURITY
----------------------------------------

4. (C/NF) Minister Atmar said that hundreds of insurgents
were approaching the government, and that a proper GIRoA
response to them would have to address issues of justice and
amnesty, political inclusion, economic and security needs.
Noting that we cannot take them into the police and the
army, Atmar seeks to address the final two factors by
creating a Local Defense Initiative (not yet approved by
President Karzai; see septel) and two large public sector

KABUL 00000694 002 OF 002


companies, focusing respectively on infrastructure and
agricultural projects. Foreign aid in those sectors would be
channeled through these public contractors, which would
employ former insurgents (along with other Afghans) and
provide them with limited job training (of a month or two)
and a decent career. Atmar argued that microcredit won't
work for insurgents; they must be employed in a controlled
and well-managed manner. He estimated that the public sector
companies could absorb 10,000 to 15,000 unemployed Afghans,
including former insurgents who turned in their weapons, and
former mujahideen disarmed through the Disarmament of
Illegally Armed Groups (DIAG) and Disarmament,
Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) programs.

5. (S/NF) Atmar cited several factors that would move
insurgent reintegration forward: Saudi intervention; the
finalization of GIRoA's reintegration program; and the
effects of the Marjah operation. Citing the arrest of Mullah
Berader, Atmar said Pakistani help on two more arrests --
those of Mullah Mansoor of the Quetta Shura and Maulavi Kabir
of Peshawar -- would further spur reintegration by showing
Taliban that they could not rely on a Pakistani safe-haven.
Atmar said contacts tell us that Berader was arrested
because he was in favor of reconciliation. Noting that both
the Chief of Army Staff, General Kayani, and ISI Director
Ahmed Suja Pasha were out of the country when Berader was
arrested, Ambassador Holbrooke advised Atmar that we should
be careful of drawing conclusions.

POLICE: QUALITY, QUANTITY, AND TRAINING LENGTH:
--------------------------------------------- --

6. (C/NF) Noting that police training and quality are on
my mind, Atmar said he favored expanding police basic
training to sixteen weeks (from eight) so it could include a
full literacy element. Ambassador Holbrooke asked Atmar to
comment on the apparent divergence of opinion between this
position and NTM-A's plan to condense police training from
eight to six weeks. Atmar noted that a six-week program with
the same number of hours as the eight week (as in NTM-A's
proposal) would be acceptable; indeed, it would be necessary
if Afghanistan is to meet its goal of 109,000 police by
October 31, 2010. However, Atmar then proposed to square
this circle by reducing attrition and increasing retention
while the international community increased the number of
trainers -- enabling Afghanistan to reach its growth goals
while still providing a longer training course.

7. (C/NF) Ambassador Holbrooke wondered if compressing the
basic training curriculum from eight weeks to six would have
a negative impact on quality, and wondered if 109k was an
achievable target by October 30, 2010. The Minister said
that a six week course would not lessen the quality of the
force; recruits would accept the longer days, he said. He
argued that the police were on track to meet the 2010 growth
goals, with roughly 92,000 police currently on duty, and
another 6,000 de facto police present but not counted on the
rolls. These over-Tashkil police, Atmar explained, are not
paid by the internationally-funded Law and Order Trust Fund
for Afghanistan (LOTFA), and thus are not counted by LOTFA as
official police. However, they are paid by private donors
and customers (through MoI) for guarding projects like the
Logar copper mine, Indian and Asian Development Bank road
projects, and UN facilities. Atmar remarked that the
shortages in the ANP ranks were most serious with officers
and NCOs, but not as serious in patrolmens' ranks.

8. (U) S/SRAP has cleared this cable.
RICCIARDONE

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