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Cablegate: Preparing U.S. Military Ag Programs for Civilian

VZCZCXRO8968
RR RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHBUL #0479/01 0391332
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 081332Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5441
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 000479

DEPARTMENT FOR SRAP, SCA/FO, SCA/A, EUR/RPM
STATE PASS TO AID FOR ASIA/SCAA

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR PGOV AF
SUBJECT: Preparing U.S. Military Ag Programs for Civilian
Transition

1. (U) Summary: At a CENTCOM-initiated and sponsored January 29-31
workshop, military and civilian representatives developed a plan for
transitioning assistance from Agribusiness Development Teams (ADT)to
civilian expertise over the next several years. Stakeholders from
the Embassy, United States Forces - Afghanistan (USFOR-A),
International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan (ISAF), ISAF
Joint Command (IJC), Regional Command East (RC-E), and National
Guard Bureau headquarters also identified actions to address
challenges in the current civ-mil environment, while maintaining
continuity and unity of effort, in areas where ADTs operate. Next
steps include providing guidance on the roles and responsibilities
of ADTs and Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) to civilian and
military leadership, publishing standardized "best practices,"
identifying agricultural requirements for those provinces served by
ADTs, and sharing that information with USG counterparts. End
Summary.

Background
----------

2. (SBU) ADTs in Afghanistan are currently sourced by the Army and
Air National Guard, which combine agriculture expertise (from
civilian experience or acquired via focused pre-deployment training)
with mobility and force protection. There will be nine National
Guard-sourced ADTs in FY10: 8 in the RC-East and 1 in RC-South. The
ADT presence, which began in 2007, will decrease to a four teams in
2012 and beyond. Agribusiness development assistance at the
sub-national level includes: advising Directors of Agriculture,
Irrigation and Livestock (DAIL) at the provincial level; advising
extension agents; extending the reach of DAILs and extension agents;
providing training and education to DAILs, extension workers and
farmers; and providing extended information operations in their
areas of operation (AO) as well as in the U.S. ADTs have their own
security forces (SECFOR) and access to Commanders Emergency Response
Program (CERP) funds independent of PRTs -- resources dedicated to
the agricultural sector. ADTs have experienced fewer targeted
attacks, reportedly due to their positive image among Afghans, but
with their dedicated SECFOR probably also playing a role.

Taking Action to Ensure Unity of Effort
---------------------------------------

3. (U) The workshop outlined several areas that need to be
addressed in the near term in order to lay the groundwork for a
transition in ADT roles and responsibilities. Key issues identified
include: civilian-military organizational challenges; lack of
civilian agricultural resources in the ADT AO; and unclear military
leadership over who has responsibility for the agricultural sector
when a PRT and ADT have the same area of operation -- all factors
that hinder civ-mil unity of effort.

4. (U) Attendees agreed that civ-mil teams must work together to
ensure better allocation, coordination, and synchronization of
resources during the transition from military to civilian
agricultural expertise. IJC agreed to prepare a military
fragmentary order (FRAGO) that will task the Regional Commands to
re-assess and better delineate the roles and responsibilities
between ADTs and PRTs. USFOR-A will develop a Request for Forces
(RFF) that considers the best force tailored to future agricultural
requirements. The Embassy Interagency Provincial Affairs Office will
work with IJC to define provincial expertise requirements as each
ADT prepares to transition from military to civilian expertise. It
will be critical for civilian agriculture experts to have their own
funding sources at the lowest operational levels in order to sustain
activities previously utilizing CERP funds.

5. (U) Workshop participants also identified Afghan government
leadership and mid- to long-term USG and other donor support as
critical factors for developing Afghan agricultural capacity.
Participants agreed on the importance of creating incentives for the
sector to become independent. They agreed to develop mid- to
long-term resource planning, following the start of U.S. military
level drawdown in the second half of 2011. Much of this planning is
already underway by the Kabul-based Embassy Agriculture Team, in
support of the USG Agriculture Assistance Strategy for Afghanistan,
and will be discussed with the various civ-mil elements outside of
Kabul to determine specific needs and how they can be addressed by
future agriculture assistance.

Comment
-------

6. (U) Transition will require PRTs to be resourced appropriately
to take on responsibilities heretofore funded by the ADTs. These
resources will need to include additional civilians with
agricultural expertise, force protection for activities originating
from PRTs, and funding able to be disbursed at the most local levels

KABUL 00000479 002 OF 002


to replace previous CERP resources.

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