wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ANKARA273
2006-01-24 14:13:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

EUCOM DCDR DISCUSSES IRAN, CAUCASUS, BLACK SEA

Tags:   PREL  MARR  PARM  TU  IR  ZJ  ZL 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO0239
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHMOS
DE RUEHAK #0273/01 0241413
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 241413Z JAN 06
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2705
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 9651
RHMFISS/39ABG INCIRLIK AB TU
RHMFISS/425ABS IZMIR TU//CC//
RHMFISS/COMUSNAVEUR NAPLES IT
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-3/J-5//
RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//USDP:PDUSDP/ISA:EUR/ISA:NESA/DSCA//
RHMFISS/USAFE AMOCC RAMSTEIN AB GE
RUFDAAA/USAREUR HEIDELBERG GE
RHMFISS/USNMR SHAPE BE//SA/SACEUR//
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 000273 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/25/2021
TAGS: PREL MARR PARM TU IR ZJ ZL
SUBJECT: EUCOM DCDR DISCUSSES IRAN, CAUCASUS, BLACK SEA
WITH TGS

Classified By: Ambassador Ross Wilson for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 000273

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/25/2021
TAGS: PREL MARR PARM TU IR ZJ ZL
SUBJECT: EUCOM DCDR DISCUSSES IRAN, CAUCASUS, BLACK SEA
WITH TGS

Classified By: Ambassador Ross Wilson for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).


1. (C) Summary: EUCOM Deputy Commander Gen Charles Wald
emphasized the risk to Turkey of Iran's WMD program on
January 17 in separate sessions with Turkey's CHOD and Deputy
CHOD as well as at a roundtable with TGS staff chaired by
DCHOD GEN Isik Kosaner. In all meetings, TGS officials
acknowledged real concerns with Iran's nuclear aspirations
but, as with Syria, continued to call for engagement, not
isolation. During a roundtable exchange on the Black Sea,
the US side emphasized that NATO should have a role there,
while J-5 Chief LTG Zorlu defended Turkey's position on
littoral-only participation in Black Sea operations, warned
against any steps that might threaten Russia and reiterated
its request for the US to persuade Bulgaria and Romania to
join Operation Black Sea Harmony (OBSH). Gen Wald and DASD
James MacDougall looked to Turkey for greater assistance to
Georgia and support for the Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations,
and TGS underscored its continuing concerns in Iraq and
pressed for US action against the PKK presence there.
However, TGS's treatment of the PKK problem was relatively
light and perfunctory. End Summary.

--------------
Iran and Missile Defense
--------------


2. (C) Gen Wald told Kosaner that stopping Iran's WMD program
was an example of a common strategic interest shared by
Turkey and the US. This raised questions about how best to
move forward on missile defense, especially since unlike any
other nuclear power, Iran has threatened the very existence
of another state. A Shahab 3 could hit most of Europe, he
observed. But a bigger worry than a direct missile attack by
Iran was the possibility Tehran would provide radiological
material to terrorists like Hizbollah. During an address at
TGS headquarters to several dozen officers from J-2, J-3 and
J-5, Gen Wald noted the need for a coordinated, multilateral

missile defense effort that takes into account both Iran's
nuclear capability and its willingness to use nuclear
missiles. TGS used the subsequent roundtable discussion to
underscore that an Iranian nuclear capability is a threat to
both regional and global peace and security and that Turkey
looks to the IAEA as the forum for resolution of the issue.


3. (C) Kosaner agreed that Turkey shared the USG's concern
about Iran's nuclear ambitions and acknowledged that the EU-3
process had failed. Nonetheless, he defined the problem as
Iran's feeling isolated and insecure. Turkey believes
persuasion and diplomacy would work better than pressure and
the use of force. Ahmedinejad's statements were aimed at
domestic audiences, but he can be persuaded, Kosaner opined.
The West might increase its sports and cultural exchanges, he
suggested, to reduce Iran's sense of isolation. The region
could be destabilized if the international community tries to
force Iran to stop. He held out hope the EU-3 negotiations
might be restarted; Gen Wald thought the Russian proposal to
host recycling facilities on its territory held more promise
but doubted that more incentives dangled before Tehran would
induce a change in behavior. The Ambassador added that
diplomacy will work if the international community speaks
with one voice; we need Turkey to join the chorus in sending
the message that Iran's nuclear weapons program is
unacceptable. Kosaner stated that Ankara was doing so.


4. (C) CHOD GEN Hilmi Ozkok suggested improved
nonproliferation efforts were needed to cut Iran's supply of
technology to develop WMD. Regarding missile defense, he saw
the benefit of early warning, but expressed concern about how
to defeat a missile that could be carrying either a
conventional, chemical or nuclear warhead. Gen Wald noted
that it was important to focus on capabilities independent of
an assessment of intent. Intentions can change quickly,
especially in authoritarian countries.

--------------
Caucasus
--------------


ANKARA 00000273 002 OF 003



5. (C) Gen Wald expressed concern about increased arms
purchases by Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the hard line
attitude of the Azeri Defense Minister. He described EUCOM's
analysis of how renewed conflict between Armenia and
Azerbaijan would go (the Azeri forces would be destroyed) and
suggested this reinforced the need for negotiations to
resolve Nagorno-Karabakh. He also suggested that Turkey and
the US needed to work on the Georgians to convince them to
take a more patient attitude towards Abkhazia and South
Osetia. At the roundtable, the Turkish side identified
Chechnya, religious extremism and Nagorno-Karabakh as the
primary sources of instability in the region and emphasized
the importance of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and
Georgia. Turkey's efforts to share its pipeline security
experience with Azerbaijan and to offer training to Georgia
were also noted. Gen Wald noted that the Georgians could use
help to develop their Special Operations capacity. He
suggested sending a joint EUCOM/Turkey team to the region to
evaluate concrete projects on which the US and Turkey might
collaborate.


6. (C) DASD MacDougall mentioned during the roundtable that
Georgia is considering a contribution to ISAF. He offered
that Turkey might encourage the Georgians and even consider
supporting them in Afghanistan.


7. (C) On Nagorno-Karabakh, Gen Wald expressed hope for
positive movement in the Minsk Group process and noted his
appreciation for Turkey's efforts to support the
negotiations.

--------------
Black Sea
--------------


8. (C) Gen Wald stated that the arch encompassing the
Balkans, the Black Sea, the Caspian and Central Asia was a
major thoroughfare for not only energy, but trafficking in
persons, drugs, WMD, etc. NATO -- and Turkey in particular
-- needed to exercise leadership in this region. He welcomed
Turkey's efforts in the Black Sea and stated that NATO will
have a role there in the future. TGS J-5 Chief LTG Zorlu
responded that BLACKSEAFOR and Operation Black Sea Harmony
(OBSH) can contain the security risks inherent to the Black
Sea and are conducted in close relationship to NATO. He
defended Turkey's position for littoral-only participation in
Black Sea operations, asserting that Turkey has no hidden
agenda there but must deal with the "sensitive realities."


9. (C) Zorlu laid blame with Moscow, saying that Russia is
threatened by the idea of a NATO presence in the Black Sea
and opposes non-littoral activity there. Given this, he
said, any NATO involvement could cause a problem with Russia
and create military tensions in the region. Any steps taken
should be gradual. Zorlu also suggested that both Bulgaria
and Romania had been more supportive of OBSH before they
joined NATO, and noted his disappointment at not hearing
stronger US support for Turkey's Black Sea programs. The
Turkish side repeated a request first made during the Nov.
2005 High Level Defense Group (HLDG) meeting for US
assistance to encourage Romania and Bulgaria to fully support
Black Sea Harmony. DASD MacDougall countered that the Black
Sea is an important security area. The US acknowledges and
supports Turkey's leadership role in the Black Sea. However,
he underscored, the US does not accept Russia's desire to
keep the Black Sea, Central Asia or the Caucasus "closed" to
outside participation.

--------------
Other Issues
--------------


10. (C) Other issues to come up during Gen Wald's discussions
included:

-- PKK: While none of the Turkish generals raised the PKK
with Gen Wald, he found opportunities to remind them about US
assistance against the terrorist group -- in Europe and with
robust intelligence sharing. In response, Ozkok noted that

ANKARA 00000273 003 OF 003


we cannot let one issue define the relationship, but the
Turkish public believe there should not be discrimination
among terrorist groups. That is why TGS urges the USG to
make more high-level statements condemning the PKK, take some
action that can be shown to the public, and apply political
pressure on Iraqis on this issue. Wald agreed that terrorist
groups are interrelated and should be opposed, citing
examples from north Africa.

-- Iraq: Kosaner noted Iraq was a critical issue. Gen Wald
responded that Iraq will require patience, just like Bosnia,
but the problems were well understood and therefore could be
addressed. At the roundtable, TGS laid out all of its
concerns in Iraq, from the territorial integrity of the
country and the status of Kirkuk to the control of natural
resources and the elimination of the PKK. On the PKK, the
Turkish side said the US has an important responsibility to
eliminate the PKK presence in northern Iraq, suggesting that
"political demands are prevailing over legal ones" and
emphasizing that there should be no discrimination among
terrorists. TGS also suggested that PKK financial supporters
should be categorized as criminal terrorists.

-- Syria: According to Kosaner Syria is more difficult than
Iraq because it is more opaque. During the roundtable, TGS
defended its engagement with Syria and praised Syria's
withdrawal of forces from Lebanon, as well as its
"unconditional consent" for the UN to interrogate five
suspects.

-- Anti-Americanism within the ranks: Kosaner denied that
anti-Americanism was widespread within the Turkish military,
saying there may be "some individuals" with this view but
that was not prevalent. Gen Wald observed that younger
officers needed to be "properly" influenced. (Comment: In
response to our request that Gen Wald be given an opportunity
to address younger Turkish officers, TGS summoned its senior
staff -- at least 24 generals with a larger number of
field-grade officers. While this wasn't what we had in mind,
it was a start to getting more Turkish officers direct
exposure to senior American military leaders. End comment.)

-- NATO critical infrastructure conference: Gen Wald pointed
to the recent stand-off between Ukraine and Russia over gas
to underscore the importance of the February NATO critical
infrastructure conference in Prague. Ozkok agreed, adding
that Turkey should diversify its sources of supply.

-- Balkans: Gen Wald said the international community needed
to consider the Balkans as a whole. He urged Turkey, which
remains active in the region, to identify possible
initiatives to help cement democracy there.

-- Caspian Guard: Touting the Caspian Guard as a
counter-proliferation, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics,
resource- security initiative for Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan,
Gen Wald urged that both NATO and Turkey take an interest in
the program.

WILSON