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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06SOFIA553
2006-04-19 12:12:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Sofia
Cable title:  

BULGARIA: NEW CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF TO CONTINUE

Tags:   MARR  MASS  PREL  PGOV  BU 
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VZCZCXRO7675
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSF #0553 1091212
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 191212Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY SOFIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1771
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SOFIA 000553 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/19/2016
TAGS: MARR MASS PREL PGOV BU
SUBJECT: BULGARIA: NEW CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF TO CONTINUE
PRO-U.S., PRO-NATO POLICIES

REF: USDAO SOFIA DTG 171350Z APR 06

Classified By: DCM Jeff Levine for reasons 1.4 a and d.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SOFIA 000553

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/19/2016
TAGS: MARR MASS PREL PGOV BU
SUBJECT: BULGARIA: NEW CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF TO CONTINUE
PRO-U.S., PRO-NATO POLICIES

REF: USDAO SOFIA DTG 171350Z APR 06

Classified By: DCM Jeff Levine for reasons 1.4 a and d.


1. (C) SUMMARY. President Purvanov has appointed Lieutenant
General Zlatan Stoykov to be Bulgaria's new Chief of the
General Staff. Stoykov is a strong supporter of increased
U.S./NATO engagement as well as Bulgaria's continued
participation in OIF and ISAF. From the U.S. point of view,
he is the best of the five or six candidates who had been
under consideration, based on his professional competence,
apolitical orientation, and flexibility. END SUMMARY.


2. (U) President Purvanov appointed Lieutenant General Zlatan
Stoykov to be the new Chief of the General Staff April 12,
succeeding General Nikola Kolev whose term expires May 31.
An official announcement is expected on May 6.


3. (C) The selection of Stoykov, the current chief of the
land forces, is a strong indication that the armed services
will pursue increased engagement with the USG and the U.S.
military and continue modernization and reform efforts.
Stoykov has a long history of close interaction with U.S.
forces and senior U.S. commanders. He is pro-U.S. and
pro-NATO. He supports continued Bulgarian participation in
OIF and ISAF and views such missions as the land forces'
chief justification for obtaining scarce defense budget
resources.


4. (C) Stoykov, 55, is viewed as a competent, apolitical, and
widely respected "soldier's soldier," and regarded as more
flexible than his peers. There is no evidence, or even
rumors, that he has been involved in corrupt practices. With
the exception of one year on the General Staff as deputy
chief of staff for resources and military education, Stoykov
has spent his entire 33-year military career in troop-leading
and staff assignments, commanding at all levels from company
to corps. Although he will be pressured to acquire weapons
systems that Bulgaria cannot afford, he will attempt to work
within actual resource constraints and seek increased
U.S./NATO engagement to enhance Bulgaria's military
capabilities.


5. (C) COMMENT. Lieutenant General Stoykov is the best
choice for the job given the other candidates, who are
tainted, to varying degrees, by lack of vision,
over-politicization, Soviet-era generational baggage, and
accusations of corruption. His nomination is a generally
positive development for Bulgaria, the U.S., and NATO.
However, his apolitical nature may hinder his ability to
affect needed change. At the very least, he will serve as a
pro-U.S. placeholder, allowing time for a new generation of
U.S./NATO-trained Bulgarian flag officers to be groomed for
senior leadership positions. END COMMENT.
Beyrle