wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
2004-12-07 13:25:00
Embassy Kuwait
Cable title:  


Tags:   EWWT  KU  MOPS  MAS 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 004218 


E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) SUMMARY AND COMMENT: Representatives of major
commercial shipping companies, regional customs and port
authorities, and various US government personnel joined the
US Navy Maritime Liaison Office (MARLO) for its semiannual
regional conference in Dubai on November 30 - December 1,

2004. Three main topics were presented during the
conference: Iraq's Umm Qasr Port and Maritime Situation;
Private Industries Role in Maritime Security; and an update
on Implementation of the International Port Security Program
(IPSP). Of the 100 attendees a significant portion of
representatives were based in Dubai, UAE. Kuwait was also
well represented by Port Authority and Customs officials as
well as private industry. Much of the discussion during the
presentations revolved around Iraq and the impact of opening
the Umm Qasr port. The proposed Boubyan Island Port project
in Kuwait, which would compete with the Umm Qasr port in Iraq
and the Jebel Ali port in Dubai, was also discussed at
length. (Boubyan Island Port project developments to be
reported septel). END SUMMARY AND COMMENT.

MARLO - A brief history


2. (U) The mission of the US Navy Maritime Liaison Office
(MARLO) is to facilitate the exchange of information between
the United States Navy and the commercial shipping community.
MARLO, part of the US Naval Forces Central Command, was
established to provide the Navy with information on
commercial maritime activities during the 1987 Tanker War
when Iran and Iraq attacked commercial shipping. With
headquarters at the US Naval base in Manama, Bahrain, MARLO
personnel liaise with the countries of the Arabian Gulf, East
Africa and with Pakistan. They meet with port and shipping
company officials, shipping agents, offshore construction
company officials, oil industry personnel and national coast
guards to disseminate information on the security posture of
the Arabian Gulf. MARLO also hosts a semiannual conference
to bring together interested shipping concerns to discuss
regional security and to invite guest speakers to present
topical briefings.

Umm Qasr, Iraq


3. (U) Vice Admiral David C. Nichols opened the conference
with a briefing on the impact Iraq is having on the security
situation in the Arabian Gulf. Nichols discussed attacks on
several oil platforms near Iraq and explained that all
vessels, inbound or outbound, from Iraq are subject to
queries and boarding. Although Coalition forces currently
patrol Iraq's waters, a new Iraqi Coastal Defense Force is
expected to begin taking over the defense of the oil

platforms after December 31, 2004. These forces will be
based at Umm Qasr port and have 5 patrol boats available for
their use initially. The Coalition will continue to patrol
the open waters around Iraq and work in conjunction with the
new Iraqi forces to protect the oil platforms and conduct
vessel queries and boardings.

4. (U) Chairman and CEO of Kuwait Gulf Links Port Management
(KGLPM) Mohamad Kadhem Al-Mazeedi also spoke about Umm Qasr
and the future of shipping in Iraq. Al-Mazeedi began his
presentation by noting that an unexpected delay in his firm's
naming as the primary contractor precluded any detailed
discussion of his management plans for Umm Qasr port.
Nevertheless, he said that he is "very confident" that KGLPM
would win the Umm Qasr contract. The bulk of Al-Mazeedi's
presentation therefore focused on KGLPM's corporate history
and other projects. However, he did say that Umm Qasr is
expected to become a sizable port with 10 berths handling up
to 1 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit, which is equal
to a 20-foot dry-cargo shipping container) per year.

There be pirates in these here waters


5. (U) According to Mr. David Fairnie of the Global Marine
Security Systems Company, piracy is alive and well in the
Arabian Gulf. In fact, it's on the rise, he said. With
confirmed links to organized crime and new links to
terrorists, piracy is considered one of the largest threats
to the shipping industry worldwide, according to his industry
sources. Recent attacks in the Gulf region have been made by
AK47-armed pirates in high powered speedboats. Piracy is not
unique to the Gulf, unfortunately, and Fairnie noted that the
South East Asian region, more than anywhere else in the
world, suffers from this crime. Of particular concern in the
Gulf, however, are the growing links between pirates and
terrorists. Fairnie specifically discussed the attacks
mentioned by Vice Admiral Nichols on the Iraqi oil platforms,
stressing that these terrorist acts included the use of
waterborne improvised explosion devices.

6. (U) Other security concerns that shippers face in the
Arabian Gulf are similar to those faced by shipping concerns
worldwide. They include theft, narcotic smuggling, and
stowaways. According to Fairnie, $30-50 billion per year is
lost to theft and is viewed by the shipping industry as the
cost of doing business today.

Implementation of the IPSP receives mixed reviews



7. (U) The conference concluded with an update on the
worldwide implementation of the International Port Security
Program (IPSP). This program, developed by the International
Maritime Organization (IMO), requires participating ports to
develop security programs using the International Port
Security Initiatives (IPSI) code. The goal of this program
is to have uniform security standards worldwide. According
to International Port Security Liaison USCG Actives Europe
presenter LCDR Brian Gilda, the implementation of the program
has had mixed results. Several reasons for this were given,
including local culture, government involvement, and high
shipping volume from specific ports. An example was given of
one country's implementation difficulties. The unnamed
country has 10 ports. However, 70% of the country's exports
go through one single port. That port has a fully
implemented IPSP. Implementation has not started in the
remaining 9 ports. Although the percentage of implementation
is low overall (only 10%), the country is satisfied that its
most vulnerable port has been protected. By IPSP regulations,
however, the country is not considered compliant because only
10% of its ports have implemented programs. Gilda also said
that the quick rollout timeframe of program has played a
significant part in the implementation results. Overall, he
said, he was satisfied with the number of ports that have
implemented their programs during the past 6 months.