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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03THEHAGUE2726
2003-10-29 15:19:00
SECRET
Embassy The Hague
Cable title:  

STATUS OF DUTCH MILITARY DEPLOYMENTS: LIBERIA,

Tags:   MOPS  MARR  KPKO  PREL  PGOV  NL  LI  AF  IZ  BK 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 002726 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/UBI, EUR/RPM, PM/RSAT

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/28/2013
TAGS: MOPS MARR KPKO PREL PGOV NL LI AF IZ BK
SUBJECT: STATUS OF DUTCH MILITARY DEPLOYMENTS: LIBERIA,
AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ AND BOSNIA

REF: A. THE HAGUE 2299 (NOTAL)

B. THE HAGUE 2343 (NOTAL)

C. STATE 302820 (NOTAL)

D. STATE 283779 (NOTAL)

Classified By: CLASSIFIED BY ACTING POLITICAL COUNSELOR NATHANIEL DEAN
FOR REASONS 1.5 (B AND D).



1. (S) Summary: Acting PolCouns met with the Dutch MFA
Security Policy Bureau Operations Chief Rob Gabrielse
(protect throughout) on October 29 to review the status of
current and planned Dutch participation in international
military operations in Liberia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia.
On Liberia, Gabrielse confirmed that the GONL planned to
dispatch the Dutch Navy's Landing Platform, Dock (LPD) Hr.Ms.
Rotterdam to participate in UN operations in Liberia (UNMIL).
Gabrielse said the GONL continues to consider possible
further involvement on the ground in Afghanistan, to include
potential deployment of special operations force (SOF) in
support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), takeover of
operations at Kabul International Airport or participation in
the German-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) at
Konduz. The GONL believes its deployment to Al Muthanna
province in Iraq as part of the UK division has been
successful to date, and anticipates approval of a six-month
extension of the deployment in November. Acting PolCouns
conveyed previously requested information concerning a U.S.
request for deployment of Dutch Explosive Ordnance Disposal
(EOD) assets in Iraq. On Bosnia, Gabrielse said while the
Dutch support an eventual EU takeover of the NATO SFOR
mission, they have no plans to reduce their forces out of
step with allies, believe any EU takeover must be done in
line with full NATO-EU consultations. End Summary.



--------------------------


Liberia


--------------------------





2. (C) Gabrielse confirmed that the GONL had decided on
October 24 to deploy the Dutch Navy's LPD, Hr.Ms. Rotterdam
for three months in support of UNMIL. The Rotterdam includes
hospital and water purification facilities, a platoon of
marines for security and two Lynx helicopters. The Rotterdam
is expected to arrive off Liberia in mid-November and will
transport goods, vehicles and, if necessary, troops from
Monrovia to Buchanan and Harper, as well as supplying
drinking water to UN staff and personnel. The Dutch
parliament will review the deployment during the week of
November 3. Gabrielse anticipated no significant
parliamentary problems in view of the support of the main
opposition Labor party for the deployment. The
second-largest coalition partner, the Liberals, have
expressed skepticism about the mission owing to perceived
lack of involvement from other major western countries and
possible overstretch of Dutch forces. Comment: Post shares
Gabrielse's view that the deployment will go forward as
planned. End Comment.



--------------------------


Afghanistan


--------------------------





3. (C) The GONL continues to review options for a possible on
the ground Dutch presence in Afghanistan. Following the
conclusion of their co-lead role of ISAF III with Germany on
August 11, the Dutch have maintained a residual presence of
35 personnel in the ISAF IV Headquarters. The Dutch Air
Force concluded its F-16 deployment with the European
Participating Air Force (EPAF) detachment flying out of
Manas, Kyrgystan in support of OEF on October 1. Gabrielse
said there is still a high level of determination in MFA to
do more on the ground in Afghanistan. Defense Minister Kamp,
who has had to cope with severe budget cutbacks, has been
more skeptical. Gabrielse outlined three possible options:
the Dutch would deploy a small contingent of SOF in support
of OEF, the Dutch would take over operation of Kabul
International Airport or the Dutch would deploy personnel
with the German-led PRT at Konduz. The Dutch government has
been reviewing possible deployment of SOF in support of OEF
for more than a year. As reported ref B, the military is
enthusiastic about such a deployment, but the leadership of
MOD and MFA are concerned about potential domestic political
ramifications of Dutch SOF apprehending Taliban/Al Qaeda
members that may then be detained at Guantanamo Bay.
Regarding Kabul Airport, Gabrielse noted this was a request
from NATO and said that since no ally had taken it up to
date, the Dutch might take over the mission. That said, MOD
had warned MFA that experts necessary for this mission might
not be quickly available. Dutch participation in the
German-led PRT at Konduz has until recently been the
preferred political option for Ministers, though there are
strong arguments in support of the former two possibilities.
Gabrielse expected some sort of decision on further Dutch
involvement in Afghanistan in November.



--------------------------


Iraq


--------------------------





4. (S) To date, the GONL believes its deployment of 1100
personnel (mostly Dutch marines) to Al Muthanna Province as
part of the UK division conducting stabilization operations
has gone well. Hostile incidents have been few, and the
Dutch have conducted successful operations to seize weapons
such as a recent episode where Dutch marines and military
police concealed in local taxis disrupted a weapons selling
operation in As Samawah, which resulted in the arrest of 82
individuals. The leadership of the Dutch parliament's
foreign policy and defense committees is presently on a visit
to the Dutch sector in Iraq. Gabrielse anticipated the GONL
would take a decision extending the deployment of the Dutch
contingent by six months after the parliamentarians return.
Gabrielse said that the GONL is in active discussions with
the Japanese government (GOJ) about the possible deployment
of Ground Self Defense Forces (GSDF) personnel to the Dutch
sector. Gabrielse said a GOJ survey team had a successful
visit to the Dutch sector in September and he expected a GOJ
decision in November on the deployment. Acting PolCouns
conveyed background information as provided ref C on
Explosive Ordnance Disposal further to U.S. request for
deployment of Dutch EOD assets to Al Muthanna (ref D).
Gabrielse expressed appreciation for the additional
information, but made no additional comment about possible a
Dutch EOD deployment.



--------------------------


Bosnia


--------------------------





5. (SBU) Concerning Bosnia, the other major Dutch overseas
deployment (the Dutch have 1100 troops serving in SFOR)
Gabrielse said the Dutch had no plans to reduce forces out of
step with other allies. The GONL favors an eventual takeover
of the SFOR mission by the EU, but believes this should
depend on developments on the ground, the position of the
Bosnian government and extensive NATO-EU discussions.
SOBEL