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2007-06-05 06:45:00
Embassy Kuwait
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DE RUEHKU #0873/01 1560645
O 050645Z JUN 07
						S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 KUWAIT 000873 




E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/05/2022

Classified By: Ambassador Richard LeBaron for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 KUWAIT 000873




E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/05/2022

Classified By: Ambassador Richard LeBaron for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (S/NF) Summary: Discussion on Iran and Iraq dominated the
May 22 U.S.-Kuwait Gulf Security Dialogue (GSD). Both
countries agreed on the threat from Iran, but GOK officials
expressed concern about Kuwait's vulnerability to Iranian
retaliation (conventional and asymmetric) and the perceived
ambiguity of the U.S. strategy to deal with Iran. On Iraq,
Kuwait is committed to supporting Al-Maliki for now, but
fears he is losing support. The Kuwaiti government (GOK) is
also concerned that Al-Qaeda in Iraq could turn its focus on
Kuwait, particularly if the Baghdad Security Plan succeeds.
On energy infrastructure security, the two sides agreed to
establish a joint working group to address vulnerabilities
and welcomed the visit of a U.S. team to focus on maritime
threat reduction. The GOK is willing to participate in
future PSI exercises. Kuwait believes the GSD discussions
are a very useful tool to increase U.S. communication on our
Gulf policy and strategy. End summary.

2. (S/NF) On May 22, Kuwait hosted the second round of the
U.S.-Kuwait Gulf Security Dialogue (GSD) discussions. Kuwait
National Security Bureau (NSB) President Shaykh Ahmed Al-Fahd
Al-Sabah chaired the meeting; Acting Assistant Secretary of
State for Political-Military Affairs Stephen Mull and Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Defense Mark Kimmitt led the U.S.
delegation. Both sides reiterated their strong support for
and commitment to a long-term U.S.-Kuwait strategic

relationship. The two sides agreed to meet every six months
for GSD discussions, alternating capitals, and to address any
interim issues through their embassies. A joint statement
was issued and received favorable local press coverage (see
para 17).

Regional Security

3. (S/NF) The USG regional security discussion focused on
Iran, Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, and Lebanon, and
included a request for assistance to Yemen and Afghanistan.
NEA DAS Gordon Gray emphasized the U.S. commitment to the
diplomatic track on Iran, a two-state solution to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the establishment of an
international tribunal on Lebanon, and cooperation/discussion
with regional allies through the GSD, GCC 2, and UN. Shaykh
Ahmed said Kuwait "shares the same goals on all these
issues," and stressed the importance of resolving the
Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Kuwait pledged continued
support for Lebanese PM Siniora's government and the
international tribunal. Shaykh Ahmed asked for U.S. help in
resolving tensions between Libya and Saudi Arabia due to both
sides' suspicions that the other is supporting rebel groups
in neighboring countries: Saudi Arabia in Chad, and Libya in
Yemen. Shaykh Ahmed also expressed concern that Al-Qaeda was
expanding operations in North Africa and Somalia, and
stressed the importance of finding a solution in Darfur.
AA/S Mull urged Kuwait to support the deployment of a
UN/African Union peacekeeping force.


4. (S/NF) DIA Senior Defense Intelligence Officer for the
Middle East Bruce Hardcastle provided a detailed brief of the
U.S. assessment of the current state of the Iranian nuclear
program and Iranian intentions. Kuwait shares our assessment
of and opposition to Iran's nuclear program. Shaykh Ahmed
pledged Kuwait's continued support for any additional UN
Security Council Resolutions on Iran, but outlined several
concerns: the perceived lack of a clear U.S. strategy on
Iran; Kuwait's vulnerability to Iranian missiles; differences
within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) over the level of
public opposition to Iran's nuclear program; the lack of
solid intelligence about the program; and the threat of
Iranian retaliation against Kuwait if attacked by the U.S. or
Israel. Kuwait expressed difficulty interpreting and
supporting what it sees as an inconsistent USG policy towards

5. (S/NF) Shaykh Ahmed said cooperation within the GCC was
improving. He confirmed that plans are afoot within the GCC
for a joint meeting of foreign ministers, defense ministers,
and national security advisers to discuss security concerns.
(Over lunch, he told the Ambassador that GCC national
security advisors were to meet before the joint session but

KUWAIT 00000873 002 OF 005

that dates had not yet been set for either GCC meeting.) He
asked the U.S. to apply more pressure on GCC countries to
cooperate among themselves. He also noted GCC countries'
recent discussions with NATO on developing a capability to
deal with consequences of a nuclear incident, for which they
"may need U.S. help in developing." (Note: Shaykh Ahmed and
Shaykh Thamer told Ambassador recently that they are
satisfied at this time with the level of cooperation with

6. (S/NF) NSB Deputy Director Shaykh Thamer Ali Al-Sabah
argued that Kuwait had "no way" to protect itself against
Iranian missiles, particularly Silkworms, or rockets similar
to those used by Hizballah against Israel last summer. Since
no missile defense system is capable of addressing this
vulnerability, he stressed that there must be a political,
not a military, solution to the Iranian threat. Shaykh
Thamer said the widespread perception among many Kuwaitis
that a U.S. attack on Iran was imminent was creating
"mayhem." Commander of the Kuwaiti Air Force General Yousef
Al-Otaibi echoed these concerns and asked what precautions
could be taken to prevent GCC countries from being "caught in
the crossfire." Shaykh Ahmed said the GOK did not anticipate
a conflict this year, but believed that Iran would respond to
any attack by retaliating against Kuwait: firing missiles at
Kuwait if attacked by the U.S., or sponsoring terrorist
attacks in Kuwait if attacked by Israel. He noted that Iran
had increased its intelligence activities in Kuwait in
preparation. AA/S Mull, DASD Kimmitt, and DAS Gray stressed
that the U.S. was not seeking a military confrontation with
Iran and was advising Israel to let diplomatic efforts take
their course. Shaykh Ahmed reiterated Kuwait's support for
the U.S. and opposition to Iran's nuclear program, but urged
the U.S. to understand Kuwaiti (and Gulf) sensitivities to
aggressively confronting its much larger neighbor.

7. (S/NF) AA/S Mull concluded the regional security session
by emphasizing the U.S.'s clear opposition to the emergence
of a nuclear-armed Iran and by outlining the USG's seven-fold
strategy in preventing this from happening by: 1) pursuing
multilateral action through the UN; 2) restricting Iran's
access to international financing; 3) maintaining a strong,
visible military presence in the region; 4) coordinating
carefully with GCC allies; 5) reaching out to the Iranian
people; 6) pressuring Iran regionally; and 7) trying to
convince Iran to play a more constructive role in Iraq. AA/S
Mull said the U.S.-Iran meeting in Baghdad on May 28 would
focus solely on Iraqi security and would not address Iran's
nuclear program. Shaykh Ahmed noted Kuwait's support for
such U.S. talks with Iran.


8. (S/NF) DASD Kimmitt and USCENTCOM Director of Strategy,
Plans, and Policy Maj Gen Vern Findley outlined progress in
implementing the Baghdad Security Plan and emphasized that
its main objective was to buy time for political
reconciliation. They said it was still too soon to tell if
the plan was succeeding and noted that there would be a major
strategic review in September. Shaykh Ahmed said Kuwait
would continue to support Iraqi PM Nouri Al-Maliki and urge
other Gulf countries to do the same, but noted that he was
losing support within Iraq and among GCC states. DASD
Kimmitt argued that the U.S. military leadership was capable
and flexible enough to adjust the plan to cope with changes.
Shaykh Ahmed expressed concern that, if the plan succeeded,
Al-Qaeda in Iraq could begin targeting Kuwait. He also
stressed the need for more communication and cooperation on
Iraq, and asked the USG to pressure the GOI to do more to
stop smuggling/militia activity along the Kuwait-Iraq border,
noting that these incidents undermined domestic support for
assistance to Iraq.

Critical Energy Infrastructure Protection

9. (S/NF) AA/S Mull proposed that the USG and GOK establish
a Joint Working Group for Critical Energy Infrastructure
Protection (CEIP) as a mechanism to enhance Kuwait's energy
infrastructure security through a formalized exchange of
expertise and intelligence. Shaykh Ahmed accepted the
proposal and suggested it be formalized after the follow-up
visit by a USG CEIP team tentatively scheduled for June
12-13. Referring to energy infrastructure as "the number one

KUWAIT 00000873 003 OF 005

target for Kuwait's enemies," Shaykh Ahmed said he looked
forward to more bilateral cooperation on CEIP. He indicated
that the GOK Security Decision Follow-up Committee (SDFC)
would coordinate Kuwaiti CEIP efforts.

10. (S/NF) Hussain Ismail, Deputy Managing Director of
Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) delivered a short
presentation on CEIP, saying that significant activity was
already underway to implement many of the recommendations
made by the USG teams. Ismail said the Kuwaitis were already
aware of most, but not all of the vulnerabilities identified
by the USG teams. He said KNPC, the Kuwait Coast Guard, and
the SDFC, which was represented at the GSD by Colonel
Mohammed Al-Faresi, were working together to develop a
"structured, time-bound plan" to implement most of the USG
security recommendations. He added that "80 per cent of the
necessary hardware upgrades are either complete or in
progress." Kuwait expressed strong support for the USG
teams' recommendation to establish a GOK Joint Coordination
Committee (JCC) to integrate Kuwait's CEIP regime.

Enhanced Defensive Capabilities and Cooperation
-------------- --

11. (S/NF) Gen. Al-Otaibi expressed appreciation for U.S.
support in enhancing Kuwait's defensive capabilities and
asked the USG to consider 1) stockpiling more Patriot
missiles in Kuwait for both U.S. and Kuwaiti use should the
need arise, and 2) providing back-up Patriot radar systems
while Kuwait upgrades its own systems over the next four
years. Shaykh Ahmed noted that Kuwait's security focus had
shifted from its northern border to its coastline. AA/S Mull
reaffirmed the USG's commitment to providing additional
defensive systems/weaponry to Kuwait, including PAC III,
unarmed UAV platforms, F/A-18 upgrades, 3-D radar systems,
and advanced communications systems. He said the USG should
be able to move ahead without difficulty. Maj Gen Findley
said CENTCOM technical experts were available to help Kuwait
develop and integrate its air defense strategy.

12. (C/NF) AA/S Mull asked Kuwait to reconsider
participating in the upcoming conference in Lima to discuss a
Norwegian-sponsored treaty banning cluster munitions. Shaykh
Ahmed noted the USG's concerns and promised to convey them to
the Foreign Minister.


13. (S/NF) Shaykh Thamer affirmed Kuwait's desire to
participate in future Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)
exercises. He noted, however, that it would be easier for
the GOK if it were a UN, rather than a U.S., initiative.
Shaykh Thamer echoed this sentiment regarding the Global
Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, which he suggested
could be introduced in the UN as part of a third UNSCR on
Iran. AA/S Mull expressed disappointment that Kuwait
withdrew from last October's PSI exercise in Bahrain, but
welcomed Kuwait's commitment to participate in future

14. (S/NF) Al-Awadi reported that Kuwait had formed a
committee headed by the Foreign Minister to ensure
implementation of UNSCRs 1737 and 1747. He said Kuwait had
been complying so far and would continue to do so. Shaykh
Ahmed agreed, adding that "Kuwait will respect and act on all
UNSCRs related to Iran." AA/S Mull emphasized that the
UNSCRs would only succeed if everyone cooperated in enforcing

Counterterrorism and Internal Security

15. (S/NF) While praising the overall intelligence
relationship, Shaykh Ahmed stressed the need for increased
cooperation and communication on intelligence issues. In
particular, he emphasized the need for enhanced technology.
Shaykh Ahmed said Kuwait was struggling to keep track of the
threats from both Al-Qaeda and Iran and complained that
Kuwait only got "one quarter of the information" from the
U.S. The GOK believes the main targets in the country are:
1) energy facilities, 2) expatriates and civilian areas, and
3) the country's leadership. AA/S Mull agreed on the
importance of intelligence sharing and urged the GOK to
pursue any issues about the liaison relationship through

KUWAIT 00000873 004 OF 005

liaison channels or through the Ambassador.

16. (S/NF) On countering money laundering and terror
financing, Shaykh Thamer argued that laws adopted over the
last year had proven effective in limiting transfers of large
funds to illicit/terrorist organizations. He claimed known
Kuwaiti terror financiers, such as Mubarak Al-Bathali, were
now only able to raise and transfer small amounts of money.

U.S.-Kuwait Gulf Security Dialogue Joint Statement
-------------- --------------

17. (U) Begin text of joint statement:

Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military
Affairs Stephen D. Mull and His Excellency Shaykh Ahmed
Al-Fahd Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the President of Kuwait's
National Security Bureau, today co-chaired the second meeting
of the United States-Kuwait Gulf Security Dialogue (GSD).
The inaugural meeting of the GSD was held in September 2006
in Washington, DC, with follow on meetings occurring
approximately every six months and alternating between Kuwait
and the United States. The second round of talks are a
reflection of the U.S. and Kuwait's commitment to regional
security and cooperation on shared security matters that
affect the Gulf region, including the situations in Iraq and
Lebanon, terrorism, proliferation, and infrastructure

The key objectives of the GSD are to convey U.S. commitment
to a long-term presence in the Gulf for the peace and
security of our GCC allies, as well to encourage regional
partners to take the steps necessary to enhance their
capabilities to deter or defend against shared threats.

The GSD addresses conventional as well as non-conventional,
asymmetric, and terrorist threats to Gulf security. To
counter these threats, the U.S.-Kuwait discussions focus on
six key "pillars":

(1) Enhanced defensive capabilities and cooperation;
(2) Regional security;
(3) Critical infrastructure protection;
(4) Counterterrorism and internal security;
(5) Counterproliferation; and
(6) Developing a shared assessment on Iraq.

During today's meetings, Ambassador Mull and Shaykh Al-Sabah
affirmed their countries' commitment to the long-standing
U.S.-Kuwait strategic relationship and agreed to continue
their cooperation in promoting regional peace and security.

Both acknowledged a shared goal of a unified, democratic, and
stable Iraq that is at peace with its neighbors and itself.
They pledged to continue to support the legitimately elected
government of Iraq.

With regard to Iran's nuclear activities, both sides
reiterated their strong desire for a diplomatic solution and
noted that such a solution can be reached by implementing the
requirements outlined in UNSCR 1737 and 1747.

The U.S. and Kuwait agreed to continue their robust
cooperation on counterproliferation and on addressing
vulnerabilities to Kuwait's energy infrastructure. Kuwait
agreed to consider participating in future Proliferation
Security Initiative (PSI) exercises and activities.

Ambassador Mull and Shaykh Al-Sabah expressed their
satisfaction with the second round of the GSD, and both look
forward to continuing this important dialogue between the two
countries. The next meeting of the GSD will take place in
Washington, DC in the fall of this year.

End text.


18. (SBU)

United States:

- Ambassador Richard LeBaron, U.S. Embassy, Kuwait
- Stephen Mull, Department of State, Acting Assistant

KUWAIT 00000873 005 OF 005

Secretary, Bureau of Political Military Affairs

- Mark T. Kimmitt, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
(Middle East)
- Gordon Gray, Department of State, Deputy Assistant
Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs

- Maj Gen Vern Findley, CENTCOM
- BGen Charles L. Hudson, Office of Military Cooperation,
U.S. Embassy, Kuwait
- Bruce Hardcastle, Defense Intelligence Agency
- Nikhil Ramchand, National Security Council Staff
- Lt Col Reginald O. Robinson, USAF, Department Of State,
Bureau of Political Military Affairs
- LCol Bernard Dodson Jr., CENTCOM
- LTC Robert Friedenberg, Defense Attache, U.S. Embassy,
- Jonathan Turley, Political Officer, U.S. Embassy, Kuwait
- Steve Conlon, Economic Officer, U.S. Embassy, Kuwait


- Shaykh Ahmed Al-Fahd Al-Sabah, President, National Security
- Shaykh Thamer Ali Al-Sabah, Deputy Director, National
Security Bureau
- Ambassador Mansour Al-Awadi, Director, International
Organizations Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Major General Yousef Duwaiyan Faris Al-Otaibi, Kuwait Air
Force Commander
- Major General Ibrahim Al-Wasmi, Land Forces Commander
- Brigadier General Abdullah Al-Rasheed, Ministry of Interior
- Brigadier General Faisal Al-Tabtabaei, Ministry of Interior
- Colonel Mohammed Al-Faresi, Deputy Director, Security
Decision Follow-up Committee
- Hussain Ismail, Deputy Managing Director, Kuwait National
Petroleum Company (KNPC), Ministry of Oil
- Colonel Abdullah Al-Kandari, Director of Counterterrorism,
Kuwait State Security, Ministry of Interior
- Shaykh Fawaz Al-Mishal Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, National
Security Bureau
- Fawaz Al-Sammar, National Security Bureau
- Shaykh Sabah Shamlan Al-Sabah, National Security Bureau
- Shaykh Khaled Ahmed Al-Sabah, National Security Bureau
- Abdulaziz Al-Salem, National Security Bureau
- Mubarak Al-Hajraf, National Security Bureau
- Ghanim Al-Otaibi, National Security Bureau
- Abdul Mutaleb Ahmed, National Security Bureau
- Mohsen Al-Mutairi, National Security Bureau
- Khalid Al-Khulifa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

19. (U) This cable was cleared by the GSD delegation.

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