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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06BASRAH21
2006-02-19 13:17:00
UNCLASSIFIED
REO Basrah
Cable title:  

PRTS IN THE SOUTH: U.S. AND U.K. DISCUSS WHEN AND HOW THEY

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  IZ 
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VZCZCXRO2211
OO RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK RUEHMOS
DE RUEHBC #0021/01 0501317
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191317Z FEB 06
FM REO BASRAH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0249
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBC/REO BASRAH 0266
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BASRAH 000021 

SIPDIS

SBU
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL IZ
SUBJECT: PRTS IN THE SOUTH: U.S. AND U.K. DISCUSS WHEN AND HOW THEY
WILL OPERATE


BASRAH 00000021 001.2 OF 002




1. (SBU) Summary: On February 15, Ambassador Speckhard visited
the U.S. Regional Embassy Office (REO) and the British Embassy
Office in Basrah to discuss the formation of southern Provincial
Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). TheU.K. is well-advanced in their
planning, with the meetings taking place in the PRT headquarters
building. The U.K side underlined its readiness to move swiftly
to support to support the stand-up of the PRT. The discussion
highlighted the challenges facing the Basrah PRT due to the
current unstable security situation and a dysfunctional Governor
and Provincial Council. End Summary.

Participants


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





2. (SBU) The meeting was hosted by the U.K. on the British
side of the Basrah Palace compound, in the building that will
serve as the Basrah PRT headquarters. Ambassador Speckhard met
with representatives from the U.K. Foreign Commonwealth Office
(FCO) in Basrah, the Department for International Development
(DFID) and MND-SE to discuss the Provincial Reconstruction Team
concept in southern Iraq. The main participants also included
Greg Bates, Director, National Coordination Team (NCT), James
Tansley, Her Majesty's Consul General and Maj. Gen. John Cooper,
General Officer Commanding, MND-SE as well as representatives
from the REO and USAID.


Overall Assessments for Transition


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





3. (SBU) The Consul General (CG) began the meeting with an
overview of each of the four southern provinces. The overviews
covered current situations regarding security, economics and
governance, achievements to date and an assessment of readiness
for transition. Both Muthanna and Maysan were judged to be
ready for transition by April/May and Dhi Qar was assessed to be
ready for transition later in 2006. Of the four southern
provinces, Basrah was determined to be the most problematic in
terms of governance and security. Maj. Gen. Cooper said that
recent efforts to clean up the police force in Basrah have been
successful and they will continue to do so although it creates
political difficulties with the Governor and Provincial Council.

GOC Cooper comments on Maysan


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





4. (SBU) Ambassador Speckhard asked about the security
situation in Maysan and if lawlessness there had the potential
to spread to other provinces following the transition. Maj.
Gen. Cooper said that it would not. Cooper said that the
British would not withdraw entirely but would leave an element
there and he was confident that re-entering the province to
quell violence would not be a problem. He said that the threats

and violence found in Maysan result from the province's
independent nature and issues that typically arise are generally
contained amongst the local tribes and various political
factions. He said that this situation has been the norm in
Maysan prior to the arrival of coalition forces and would
continue to be the situation long after coalition forces leave
Iraq. Cooper stressed that the issues in Maysan would have to
be solved by Iraqis at the national, local and tribal levels. A
layered approach, according to Cooper, would be more effective
and coalition forces would support the Iraqis in the background,
but resolution would have to come from the Iraqis themselves.
He said he would not involve his troops in conflicts between
Iraqis. But could move to contain conflicts if necessary. The
Consul General reaffirmed that Maysan should not be seen as
unstable, but as independent.

Basrah PRT


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





5. (SBU) The CG stated that the U.K. team would continue to push
ahead on projects that have already begun. He said that the PRT
would be operational in six weeks and fully staffed and
functional three months from that time. He added that the U.K.
model anticipates 40 international staff supported by a large
number of locally engaged staff and mentioned that the PRT team
leader would report through the FCO to the NCT. Ambassador
Speckhard questioned the reporting line, noting the need for
direct reporting to the NCT. The CG clarified his statement
that the PRT would report to him mainly on administrative and
managerial issues. He added that it was important to have open
lines of communication for reporting purposes and that life
support needs for staff members should be provided by each
member's own country. Greg Bates clarified that all
administrative and operational costs of the PRT should be borne
by the host country and that funding from the NCT to the PRTs
would be for reconstruction projects/programs.

BASRAH 00000021 002.2 OF 002



For the Near Future


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





6. (SBU) Ambassador Speckhard said that it would be a good idea
for those involved in the Basrah PRT to make a trip to Baghdad
to discuss and finalize administrative details. The CG also
expressed an interest in visiting one of the three PRTs that is
already functioning. Other issues to be clarified involve the
chain of command in terms of reporting. There is also the issue
of determining the location from which support would be provided
to Muthanna province, assuming that it is not a Coalition-led
PRT. The CG suggested that the Muthanna PRT could be supported
out of Basrah province, although he was open to US suggestions
that Dhi Qar province might be better positioned to provide this
support and engagement.

Comment


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





7. (SBU) Comment: The visit of Ambassador Speckhard to Basrah
was a success. A number of participants commented that having
all the players in one room to discuss the implementation of
southern PRTs was very useful. The U.K is clearly committed to
standing up the PRT. The U.K. representatives were pleased to
learn of the significant contribution that the U.S would make to
this effort.. End Comment.



8. This cable has been cleared by Ambassador Speckhard.
GROSS