Cablegate: Engaging Allies to Conclude Mous On Life Support
OO RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHBUL #0437/01 0341536
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 031536Z FEB 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5367
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE 3897
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL IMMEDIATE 0473
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KABUL 000437
DOD FOR USDP FLOURNOY
USNATO FOR AMB IVO DAALDER
ISTANBUL PASS TO US DEL AT NATO DEFMIN CONFERENCE
DEPARTMENT FOR SRAP, SCA/FO, SCA/A, EUR/PPD
STATE PASS TO AID FOR ASIA/SCAA
USFOR-A FOR POLAD
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MOPS MARR PREL EAID PHUM SNAR PINR PTER AF
SUBJECT: Engaging Allies to Conclude MOUs on Life Support
REF: (A) 10 Kabul 376, (B) 09 Kabul 4152, (C) 09 Kabul 3981, (D) 09
Kabul 3870, (E) 09 State 129187, (F) 09 Vilnius 709, (G) 09
Stockholm 797, (H) 09 Stockholm 796, (I) 09 wellington 329, (J) 09
Oslo 784, (K) 09 Madrid 1202, (L) 09 Paris 1726
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1. (U) This is an action request - see paragraphs 5 and 6.
2. (SBU) Embassy Kabul is in the process of significantly
increasing the number of USG civilians at Provincial Reconstruction
Teams (PRTs) and other field locations, particularly District
Support Teams (DSTs). Of the 27 PRTs in Afghanistan, 14 are ISAF
Coalition-led. There are more than 75 U.S. civilians based at
Coalition-led locations, and we hope to deploy far more in the
coming months. In order to facilitate this increase, we are trying
to conclude MOUs with Coalition partners that will support such
deployments. To date, arrangements for accommodation and support of
USG civilians at partner PRTs have been ad hoc and informal with no
3. (SBU) Draft MOUs were initially presented in November to
coalition partner Ambassadors based in Kabul by Ambassador Mussomeli
(ref D). Since then, we have been working via U.S. embassies in
capitals as well as in Kabul to finalize the text of the MOUs, which
have political rather than legal weight. Most ISAF contributing
governments have agreed in principle to sign MOUs with the USG, but
thus far we have only concluded an MOU with the UK. We are seeking
to complete MOUs with the governments of Canada, Italy, New Zealand,
Lithuania, France, Hungary, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden and, if
possible, Turkey. We are seeking to conclude these agreements in
4. (SBU) One of the key concerns among partners is that they may be
unable to support large U.S. civilian contingents. To address this
concern, we have worked with governments to identify the maximum
number of civilians that they could support at present, with an
additional clause that would allow for further consultations if our
governments wish to revise these projected numbers. This language
has satisfied most of our coalition partners. Additionally, we have
worked with partners to remove or revise language requiring them to
provide a minimum number of ground movements for our personnel.
This requirement has limited impact in the West and most of the
North of Afghanistan where the relatively permissive security
environment enables U.S. civilian officers to drive themselves
rather than rely on military transport and security.
5. (U) We ask that you look for opportunities to use the following
talking points on the margins of the NATO Defense Ministerial:
General Talking Points:
- The deployment of civilians with expertise in governance,
agriculture and development is key to the success of our efforts in
- The United States has been working with your government to
conclude an MOU on Life Support for U.S. civilians at coalition-led
- This agreement, while not legally binding, would establish a
framework for cooperation for support to U.S. civilians at
coalition-led Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) or other
- Our cooperation until now has been under largely ad hoc
arrangements that have not been funded. This MOU will provide a
mechanism for USG payment to coalition partners for support services
provided to USG civilians at PRTs or other facilities.
- Negotiations to date have taken into account concerns about
over-burdening coalition partners in terms of numbers of civilians
and support for mobility outside the base. We believe the revised
language we have worked out with each government provides adequate
flexibility and consultations, and should address any concerns in
- The UK and the U.S. signed an MOU on January 23.
KABUL 00000437 002.2 OF 003
- We encourage your government to finalize your review so that we
can conclude the MOU as quickly as possible.
6. (U) Country Specific Talking Points:
- We have engaged with the Italian Ministry of Defense on the draft
MOU and the initial response was positive, including in response to
our request for support from the RC-West Quick Reaction Force and
- The MOD has told our Embassy that they will forward any suggested
changes after they go over it with MFA.
- The interlocutors in Rome did not foresee any problem with
delegating the signing authority to the Italian Ambassador in Kabul.
- One point that the Italian MOD has stressed is that the Italians
would like to see even closer coordination of USAID, Italian
Development Officials, and Italian Civil-Military Coordination
(CIMIC) officers on the ground as a result of this MOU. As this is
our goal as well, this MOU will certainly facilitate this kind of
- We understand that your Embassy in Kabul is reviewing changes sent
from Ottawa and has in turn forwarded the document to your PRT in
Kandahar. We would encourage your Embassy and PRT to finalize your
review so that we can conclude the MOU as quickly as possible.
- We understand that your Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, our Embassy in Vilnius and our staff in Kabul and
Herat had a very successful video conference call January 27, which
resulted in bringing the two sides closer to reaching agreement on
the substance of the MOU.
- Once the final language is agreed to, we would request that the
clearance of the MOU on behalf of the Lithuanian ministries be
expedited so that we can sign the final agreement as soon as
- We appreciate the Norwegian Government's efforts to work with us
on placing USG civilians on your PRT and to amend the MOU to address
the issues of mobility and the ordering of containerized housing
units for our personnel. In particular, we appreciate your
government's agreement to allow our USDA expert to move to the PRT
without the MOU being concluded. We encourage you to finalize your
review of the document so that we can conclude the MOU as soon as
- We are pleased that your government welcomes the additional USG
civilians on the German facilities in RC-North.
- We recently provided a revised draft MOU to both your MoD in
Berlin and your personnel at the PRT.
- We hope that this revised version of the MOU will resolve any
outstanding issues and we can move quickly to conclude the
- We have been working with your Ministry of Defense in Budapest to
resolve issues related to mobility and the number of personnel
located at the PRT.
- Currently we have one USAID development advisor located at your
PRT. Although U.S. Forces will be moving into Kilagai, there is
still a need to place additional USG civilians at the PRT given its
KABUL 00000437 003.2 OF 003
close location to the provincial capital and important Afghan
- We hope that the revised version of the MOU resolves your
governments concerns so that we can move quickly to conclude the
(For Spain and France)
- In November, Ambassador Mussomeli presented your Ambassador with a
copy of the MOU we are entering into with our coalition partners to
place USG civilians at their facilities.
- However, there has been no response from your Embassy or Ministry
on the MOU.
- We have reached out to our Embassies in (Madrid) and (Paris) to
work with your Ministry on the MOUs. In addition, Deputy Secretary
Lew has offered to call your Minister of Foreign Affairs to
encourage them to review the substance of the documents in
cooperation with the Ministry of Defense.
- We hope that we will be able to move forward on these documents
quickly. Our staff in Kabul stand ready to address any concerns or
questions you may have on the agreements.
- In December, we presented to your Embassy a courtesy copy of the
MOU we are entering into with our ISAF partners.
- Although we have not placed any USG civilians at the Turkish
facilities, we hope that as we increase the number of our USG
civilians in the field and as Turkey establishes new facilities, we
will be able to closely coordinate U.S. and Turkish activities in
- We would welcome the opportunity to place USG civilians at your
facilities and conclude an MOU to provide for their life support
7. (U) Post appreciates Department and USNATO's assistance in this
request. POC's for questions or comments on the MOUs are Ann Marie
Yastishock at Kabul/USAID and Patricia McNerney at Kabul/IPA.