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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05BAGHDAD3115
2005-07-28 06:51:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

VOTER REGISTRATION UPDATE SECURITY PLAN

Tags:   PGOV  PINS  PHUM  IZ 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 003115 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/24/2010
TAGS: PGOV PINS PHUM IZ
SUBJECT: VOTER REGISTRATION UPDATE SECURITY PLAN

Classified By: CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL MILITARY COUNSELOR DAVID C. LITT

FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) and (D).
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 003115

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/24/2010
TAGS: PGOV PINS PHUM IZ
SUBJECT: VOTER REGISTRATION UPDATE SECURITY PLAN

Classified By: CLASSIFIED BY POLITICAL MILITARY COUNSELOR DAVID C. LITT

FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) and (D).

1.(C) SUMMARY: The voter registration update (VRU)process
continues to progress. One of the greatest challenges has
been keeping the Ministry of Defense (MOD) and Ministry of
Interior (MOI) continuously and simultaneously engaged in
the planning. However, both agencies were instrumental in
categorizing the 542 District Electoral Offices (DEOs) into
different threat-level categories. Additionally, both were
present at meetings where force field plans and the results
of nation-wide communications exercises were discussed.
The Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) has
selected National Air Cargo (NAC) to handle VRU material
transport; however, NAC is extremely behind schedule
considering VRU is set to begin August 1. VRU start dates
will likely vary across the country. END SUMMARY.

2.(C) ENGAGEMENT OF MINISTRIES IN PLANNING: When Elections
Joint Working Group (EJWG) meetings commenced nearly a
month ago, the MOD appeared to be disengaged from VRU
planning. However, in past weeks, MOD Joint Head Quarters
(JHQ) has stepped up its engagement with active
participation in weekly EJWG meetings, as well as
attendance at a recent IECI security conference.
Unfortunately, however, due to poor communication between
IECI and MOD, MOD did not prepare any brief for the
conference. Moreover, for the past two weekly meetings,
MOI Director of Elections Security, Major General (MG)
Aydin, was called away on other matters, an unfortunate
development during such a crucial time. Since he left no
deputy with decision-making authority in his stead, limited
progress was made during the meetings he missed.
Fortunately, the registration security plan was drafted
before MG Aydin left and remains unchanged. Additionally,
this plan is very similar to the one used during the
January elections.

3.(C) EXTERNAL REGISTRATION SITE SECURITY: 542 DEOs have
been established for the purposes of conducting voter
registration update. Most of the DEOs are located in
government buildings and will derive their immediate

security from Iraqi Police (IP). Threat levels are divided
into three categories: critical, more critical and most
critical as assessed by Iraqi ground commanders and Multi-
National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I). The assessed threat levels
determine how each DEO will be protected throughout August.
Currently, for example, Al Anbar and Baghdad ratings equate
to most critical, meaning their protection involves the use
of three concentric security circles where IP form the
circle closest to the DEOs, Iraqi Army (IA) the middle
circle and IA plus Coalition Forces (CF) the outermost
ring. The outer layer is designed to be transparent to
most Iraqis. Originally, election planning was designed to
decrease the MNF-I presence and put an "Iraqi face" on all
aspects of the elections process. In a recent military
order, however, Multi-National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I) stated
it would augment Iraqi efforts in both the inner and middle
rings of security as needed. Nevertheless, the plan
remains to have CF's presence as visibly limited as
possible.

4.(C) INTERNAL REGISTRATION SITE SECURITY: Internally, the
DEOs will be staffed with 10-12 IECI employees during hours
of operation, which are 0800-1700 Monday through Thursday.
These hours will enable the registration of 250 people per
day per site. Between one and four million people across
the country are expected to participate in the VRU.
Previous EJWG meetings have suggested IECI workers may
search registrants with metal-detecting wands and chemical
explosive detecting pads. IECI plans to provide phone
numbers on its web site to enable registrants to call in to
determine whether they need to visit VRU sites. This
phone-in customer service initiative will also provide an
additional security measure, since many people can avoid
visiting potentially dangerous VRU sites unnecessarily.

5.(C) WHEN WILL SECURITY BE IN PLACE? DEO Registration
security is scheduled to be in place throughout the country
by July 27 to accommodate an August 1 launch. Forces will
be in position on this start date even if VRU is delayed to
impart a sense of personal security and confidence in the
VRU process to the Iraqi people.

6.(C) REGISTRATION COMMUNICATIONS: MNF-I has conducted
several communications exercises over the past month with
the National Joint Operations Center (NJOC), the JHQ at
MOD, the MOI National Control Center, Provincial Joint
Coordination Centers and the Joint Coordination Centers
throughout Iraq. These exercises are designed to expedite
threat and incident reporting to the Iraqi C2 centers and
MNF-I. In an actual emergency, NJOC will directly inform
the Prime Minister of incidents. MNF-I conducts frequent
communications exercises; however, progress with secure and
non-secure voice and data communications has been lacking,
requiring more practice and coordination.

7.(C) VRU MATERIAL TRANSPORT AND SECURITY: IECI selected
NAC to transport, collect and protect completed VRU
materials, however NAC has not officially signed a contract
and is way behind schedule. At this writing, VRU materials
have been delayed in Sharjah (UAE), and are re-scheduled to
arrive in Iraq July 28. IECI says VRU materials traveled
from Austria to Sharjah and will enter Iraq via the
Baghdad, Irbil and Basra Regional Airports. Materials will
then be transported from these airports via contracted
security to warehouses guarded by Federal Building
Security. Per GEO request, IECI will transport VRU
materials to the DEOs via taxicabs, pick-up trucks and
personal vehicles as they feel this method will attract
less attention than convoys and allow them to "fly under
the radar." The amount of time needed to distribute VRU
materials throughout the country is said to vary anywhere
from three days to three weeks. Thus, the EJWG feels
registration will likely occur August 7 vice August 1.
However, even if VRU is delayed, IECI has no plans to
extend the VRU beyond August 31.

8.(C) OTHER SECURITY CONCERNS: After one EJWG adjourned,
one member raised a concern that insurgents may attempt to
masquerade as ISF wearing ISF uniforms, as recent reports
have indicated. Another concern involved the bona fide of
media personnel covering the registration process.
Although these concerns are relevant, EJWG members believe
the current security plan addresses these concerns
adequately.
Khalilzad