|07ANKARA767||2007-04-04 11:57:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Ankara|
VZCZCXYZ0000 PP RUEHWEB DE RUEHAK #0767 0941157 ZNY CCCCC ZZH P 041157Z APR 07 FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1569 INFO RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 5529 RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-3/J-5// RUEUITH/ODC ANKARA TU RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 5593
1. (C) Summary. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Deputy Director
BG Patrick O'Reilly briefed Turkish military as well as
Defense and Foreign Ministry officials April 2 on the Iranian
ballistic missile threat and the U.S. Integrated Ballistic
Missile Defense System. BG O'Reilly's presentation addressed
coverage by long-range interceptors and emphasized our
intention that the proposed system be NATO-compatible,
stressing that Russia is being kept fully informed. MFA
officials questioned why some NATO members appear to enjoy a
"free ride" under the U.S. national system and asked for
details on how the system would be integrated with NATO. The
briefing provides an excellent baseline for future
conversations with Turkey on missile defense and contributes
to our ongoing dialogue with Turkey on the security
implications of a nuclear-capable Iran. End Summary.
2. (C) BG O'Reilly's April 2 TGS briefing in Ankara was
hosted by Turkish General Staff MG Serdar Savas, J-5, and
included officials from the TGS and Ministry of Defense. MFA
officials, including the DDG for NATO Affairs Serdar Kilic
and Arms Control Department DDG Ahmet Muhtar Gun, also
attended. O'Reilly explained why Poland and the Czech
Republic were the best locations for ground-based
interceptors and the mid-course tracking radar. The briefing
also made clear why Turkey, because of its proximity to Iran,
does not fall under the umbrella of the U.S. system.
3. (C) The MDA team also emphasized U.S. efforts to keep
Russia informed regarding the capabilities and purposes of
what is a small, defensive system not aimed at Russia. OSD/P
Principal Director Richard Davison underscored the extent of
U.S. exchanges with Moscow to demonstrate that the system is
not a threat to Russia.
4. (C) Following the presentation, MFA officials raised
questions about the proposed system's integration into NATO.
NATO DDG Kilic asked why some NATO members appeared to get "a
free ride" by virtue of their coverage by Poland-based land
interceptors without having to make any financial investment.
He asked rhetorically how this would affect alliance
solidarity. Arms Control DDG Gun questioned the proposed
system's compatibility and integration with NATO. Another
MFA official asked how the proposed U.S. system would impact
the missile defense feasibility study underway at NATO, and
whether the U.S. plan might preempt NATO's development of its
own long-range missile defense system. O'Reilly described how
the proposed system can enhance NATO security, stressing its
compatibility with NATO message sets and systems software.
The U.S. objective is to match and link to NATO systems, thus
increasing their capabilities.
5. (C) Comment. The briefing provides an excellent baseline
for future conversations with Turkey on missile defense and
contributes to our ongoing dialogue with Turkey on the
security implications of a nuclear-capable Iran. Turkey has
published Requests for Information (RFIs) for long and medium
range air defense systems but it is not clear how far along
Turkish thinking is on integrated missile defense. Officials
requested that the MDA team not brief the Turkish press and
have given us other indications they prefer that bilateral
missile defense discussions remain low-key. While cognizant
of the threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iran, Turkey is
reluctant to draw attention to itself and irritate Russia and
neighboring Iran. Despite this, word of the MDA briefing did
appear in the Turkish media April 3, presumably based on MFA
or TGS backgrounding. End comment.
6. (U) The substance of this cable was cleared by BG O'Reilly.
Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at