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2005-05-03 14:41:00
Embassy Brussels
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 BRUSSELS 001727 




E.O. 12958: N/A






E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (SBU) Summary. On 29 April 2005, NATO International Staff
(IS) and International Military Staff (IMS) led by Assistant
Secretary General Kobieracki, met with EU General Secretariat

and EU Military Staff (EUMS) members led by Director General
for ESDP, Pieter Feith in the EU's Kortenberg Building.
Among the 20 plus in attendance were EUMS Director General
Perruche, Anders Hendrikson from the European Commission and
Canadian General Fenton (?) from the IMS. Note: USEU
represented the only other bilateral partner of the AU at
this meeting at the direct invitation of ESDP DG Feith. End

2. (SBU) Pieter Feith opened the meeting with an overview
saying "We are willing to inform you" on our planning so far
within a wider context of what is going on in Darfur and
offering the NATO side an in-depth fact sheet. Feith focused
on the results of the Joint Assessment Mission of 22 March
noting this was an AU-led effort of bilateral partners
working as an integrated team. He highlighted the phased
approach recommended in the report: Phase I is to strengthen
the current weakness in the AU structure in order to bring
the current AMIS mission to full operational capacity (FOC);
Phase II would expand the mission to approximately 7,600
military and police; while envisioning a Phase III, if
necessary, to expand the force to over 12,000. Stating that
his best sense is to carry out Phase I perhaps in parallel to
building up to Phase II, Feith said we should increase the
AU's effectiveness from the current 25% up to 80% before
going on to Phase II.

3. (SBU) Feith then began to catalogue the weakness and
shortfalls of the current mission. Command and control at
all levels down to El Fasher and further to the sub-regional
headquarters is the main problem. In addition, intelligence
information of any kind is lacking. Citing the need for all

participants to "sing off the same song sheet" Feith noted
the need to enhance reporting mechanisms. Summarizing his
list of shortfalls, Feith again stressed his view that we,
the international community, not jump to Phase II without
increasing the AU's capacity. Here he emphasized his belief
that if NATO is asked for lift, NATO should keep in mind the
overall approach, which is the need to finish Phase I.

4. (SBU) On logistics support, Feith noted that all AU
partners provided a wide range of assistance including
communications and transportation, noting in particular the
inclusion of PA&E, which he said was slow at the start
resulting in a gap that was covered by some EU Member States.
Feith stated that if NATO wants to contribute logistics
support it would be most welcome by the AU cautioning that
such support should remain in consonance with ongoing efforts
in order to go in the same direction.

5. (SBU) Feith then turned to the African Peace Facility
(APF) funding mechanism introducing the POC, Anders
Hendrikson from the European Commission, and noting that such
funding for the AU was characterized by conditionality. Here
in noted matter-of-factly that no funding under the APF would
be available for NATO actions.

6. (SBU) In closing his introductory remarks, Pieter Feith
made the following points: a. NATO and the EU should
coordinate their public diplomacy (to which he added that the
two organizations could relax on competitiveness in this
area) b. It is possible that an EU member state may propose
an ESDP operation to formalize ongoing EU actions in an
inclusive effort, which would include aerial surveillance and
reconnaissance, but such a mission had not yet been proposed
c. Solana will make the same points to Mbeki in South Africa
during his visit (that day) d. The EU will undertake a
mission to Addis from 1-4 May for further discussions with
the African Union and its bilateral partners.

7. (SBU) Responding on behalf of the NATO side, ASG
Kobieracki noted with humor Feith's comment about EU APF
funding for NATO and then turning to the AU's Konar's letter
to NATO, he said he wanted to be clear on where NATO is at
the moment. Identifying this effort as the first round of
discussions Kobieracki said he was authorized to coordinate,
to conduct staff-staff discussions, first with the African
Union, and that the NATO effort would be complementary to
ongoing efforts and would not duplicate the work of others
stressing "we should work with you." The first step is to
understand what the EU has done, what the EU is doing, and
what the EU will do in order to be complementary. Accepting
the need to coordinate public diplomacy, Kobieracki said NATO
was at the exploratory stage and there had been no advance
thinking on what NATO is considering. He said his role is to
clarify the situation so nations can decide in this context,
he stressed, that NATO knows what it has and is aware of its

8. (SBU) For the NATO IMS, Canadian General Fenton(?) asked
the EU about AU command and control "at all levels" noting
that harmony with the EU and support of the AU is the NATO
goal. Saying that C2 is a red-line barrier in NATO, he asked
the EU side to go into more detail about the operation's C2
problems and to evaluate quantifiably the quality of the
present effort. Responding for the EUMS, Lt Gen Perruche
said that although advisors and planners had been sent by all
partners to build the chain-of-command, it hasn't been
successful as the AU is very careful to keep the leadership
positions at all levels. General Perruche added that even
providing all the necessary assets at the strategic,
operational and tactical levels didn't help as the African
culture doesn't match the western system. In the African
system, according to General Perruche, the credibility of the
local leadership is the key. General Perruche clearly
pointed out that fixing the C2 system first is the highest
priority and that this priority was communicated clearly to
the AU by its bilateral partners.

9. (SBU) On a positive note, Perruche said that where they
are deployed, they are having a positive affect "globally we
can say so - it works, but there is no collective impact,
only local." Perruche continued saying "We have good ideas,
but the AU must accept them first and even if the AU leaders
agree there is no guarantee that others will implement the
decisions." One UK member of the EUMS with experience on the
ground specified the shortfalls saying that there are no
terms of reference and no standard operating procedures in
the command and control system, no delineation of tasks among
the participants and no strategic and operational direction
of the mission. While agreeing that there are some bright
officers involved, he said that clearly there are also some
incompetents. An additional frustration is that deputies do
not give direction in the absence of their principals.

10. (SBU) Peter Stamps of the European Commission, who was
formerly the EU Council Secretariat liaison in Addis while on
active service with the British Army, added that the AU lacks
the numbers of personnel needed to execute the mission. On
top of that, there are those in the region who "count the
number of white faces going in and out" as a negative metric.
In defense of the AU, Stamps added that intense political
pressure had forced the AU to execute the mission before it
was properly planned. The EUMS J-3, Brigadier General Brauss
concurred but noted that "the plan is a piece of paper, they
have to want to implement it."

11. (SBU) Matthew Reece for the Council Secretariat agreed
with all the EU speakers and added his view that it's about
capacity and ownership, the latter requiring a lot of the
AU's attention while there is a need to expand the mission
with limited capacity. He added that his is why there is a
push to move operational planning to Khartoum while leaving
strategic direction in Addis while endeavoring to improve
both simultaneously. Finally, he added that in the AU there
is a reluctance to delegate, which creates bottlenecks within
an already limited capacity for action. Here Pieter Feith
interjected that NATO might be useful in supporting the split
of strategic and operational planning between Addis and
Khartoum because of the great distance involved.

12. (SBU) Turning to the civilian aspects, Pieter Feith
called on Casper Klynge of the Directorate for Civilian
Aspects of ESDP to comment on the police component. Klynge
described an even greater shortfall in police than in
military. Currently, the requirement is for 815 officers of
which only 230 are in-country. The urgent police needs are
force generation, communications equipment, vehicles and
guidance. In Phase II, the police requirement goes up to
1560 as there will be a greater need post-stabilization for
policing as IDPs return. He is doubtful they will ever do it
as force generation, logistics and communications will still
be lacking.

13. (SBU) Anders Hendrikson of the Commission spoke next. He
stressed that the EU has two strategic objectives. First,
the EU identified the AU as a strategic partner in Africa.
Most of the work so far in this relationship has been in the
field of defense and security (AMIS I and AMIS II). The
second objective is reigning in the chaos of Darfur. There
is tension between these two objectives, according to
Hendrikson; between the need to build AU capacity over time
and the need to do some urgently in Darfur. He noted that
this tension almost split the AU as it was forced to take a
big risk in launching AMIS. Because the AU will do other
operations and Africa over the coming years, we need the AU
there. Because of the importance of our common strategic
interest in the success of the AU, his advice to NATO was,
therefore, to focus on the March AU-led Joint Assessment
Report, to be sensitive to the tension described above, and
to keep the quality concerns in mind. Finally, Hendrikson
pointed out a valid concern of the AU: lack of coordination
in the international community. Here he expressed his
appreciation for the NATO effort while asking everyone to be
cognizant of the AU's concern.

14. (SBU) Next, the NATO side asked if the EU had been
welcomed by the AU. Pieter Feith responded that the AU
officially accepted the UN Security Council resolutions but
that the reality may be different in the field where there
are instances of non-cooperation.

15. (SBU) In responding to an IMS question on the EU's view
about the short-term and long-term requirements for NATO
assistance, Feith suggested reading the documents currently
in use by the bilateral partners, copies of which the EU
passed to NATO at the meeting. Feith followed-up saying that
it is a fast-moving situation as this week the AU PSC
approved expansion of the mission to Phase II. Here he noted
that the EU expects a letter from the AU officially informing
them of this decision. In this context, Feith again stressed
the need to "follow the party line" meaning that both
organizations should work to remedy the existing shortfalls,
which are listed in the documents, as it makes no sense, said
Feith, to pump more troops in (a effort he attributed to
Pronk's staff at UN) while acknowledging that "media wise"
more troops makes sense. Summarizing this point, Feith said
that more troops "will not improve the overall effectiveness
as troops without support adds to the negative image of the
international community."

16. (SBU) Turning to the expansion of the mission, General
Perruche said he still didn't know where the AU will get the
troops as they need to both augment current levels and to
rotate employed forces. Rhetorically he continued: Where
will they come from? What will be the quality of the troops?
What will they do? Where will they get logistics support?
How long will it take? To this he added "The EU logistics
plan was never followed." Supporting his boss, an officer of
the EUMS added "They (the AU) provide a man, a uniform and
boots only." Perruche then summarized the challenge "It's
education and culture."

17. (SBU) The NATO side then asked, "Where would NATO fit in
in a complementary way?" Responding for the EU side, BG
Brauss the J-3 said "It's hard to say, but if two NATO
participants join the mission next week (1-4 May) you'll get
an idea. The answer will be subject to your assessment in
coordination with the EU."

18. (SBU) Next, an officer of the IMS asked about expansion
of the mission saying that if the AU PSC has already decided
to expand the mission, isn't that a fait accompli? Christian
Manahl of the Council Secretariat replied that in the AU
"politics does not equal reality." He stressed that it will
take much longer than the AU thinks giving all of us time to
address the current shortfalls. His advice, consistent with
all those present from the EU side, was "don't rush to Phase
II." Feith added that this is high politics in the AU:
"Konar should get the same message at the EU and NATO."
Perhaps, Feith suggested, NATO could take a tougher approach
by saying "we'll help with lift when we see improvement in
Phase I." Supporting this view, the EUMS said that if we all
stick to the same line on establishing the logistic support
first then expansion, we can work with the AU together.

19. (SBU) For NATO, ASG Kobieracki said that NATO is looking
for information on ongoing bilateral support to the AU as
NATO will be considering all options. The EU side offered to
provide their matrix on this point. Next, Kobieracki asked,
in the spirit of complementarity and transparency if it would
be possible for two NATO observers to join the UN, EU, US, CA
trip to Addis 1-4 May? Pieter Feith responded that he was
"authorized to say 'most welcome'." He did suggest, however,
that NATO register directly with the AU and that the EU would
provide the contact details for this. Feith then offered an
admittedly more political message saying he assumed NATO
would be broadly in line with the EU approach as this is a
first opportunity to really work in harmony. He quickly
added that he assumed the AU would naturally want to talk
about expansion to Phase II with NATO. In closing this
issue, Feith commented that "you'll get all the cooperation
of friends." In response, Kobieracki reiterated that NATO
has as of yet no common policy as it is still in the
exploratory stage and that the NATO representatives in Addis
will do nothing to undermine the specific EU line and will
publicly support the EU general line.

20. (U) There being no other questions, the meeting adjourned
after one hour and five minutes.