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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07USNATO591
2007-11-05 09:22:00
SECRET
Mission USNATO
Cable title:  

GENERAL LUTE, COUNSELOR COHEN AND DELEGATION SHARE

Tags:   PREL  NATO  MARR  MOPS  AF  IZ  TU 
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INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD IMMEDIATE 0381
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RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE IMMEDIATE
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RUEHNO/USDELMC BRUSSELS BE IMMEDIATE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0495
						S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 USNATO 000591 

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SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/05/2017
TAGS: PREL NATO MARR MOPS AF IZ TU
SUBJECT: GENERAL LUTE, COUNSELOR COHEN AND DELEGATION SHARE
VIEWS FROM RECENT IRAQ, AFGHAN TRIP WITH SYG, LOOK AHEAD

Classified By: Charge Richard G. Olson, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 USNATO 000591

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SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/05/2017
TAGS: PREL NATO MARR MOPS AF IZ TU
SUBJECT: GENERAL LUTE, COUNSELOR COHEN AND DELEGATION SHARE
VIEWS FROM RECENT IRAQ, AFGHAN TRIP WITH SYG, LOOK AHEAD

Classified By: Charge Richard G. Olson, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)


1. (S) SUMMARY. Deputy NSA for Iraq and Afghanistan LTG
Douglas Lute and Counselor Eliot Cohen used an October 26
meeting with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer to
discuss their recent trip to Iraq and Afghanistan. State's
Director for Policy Planning Dr. David Gordon and OSD DASD
for Afghanistan Mitch Shivers accompanied. On Iraq, Lute and
Cohen described lingering challenges with the central
government, but encouraging progress in political
accommodation at the tribal and provincial levels. Implying
the ball was in the U.S. court, the SYG said that if NATO's
Training Mission in Iraq (NTM-I) is to continue, a discussion
at NATO HQ must begin soon. Prompted by Ambassador Nuland to
address the present situation in northern Iraq, LTG Lute
stated that U.S. intelligence assets in Iraq are focused
primarily on the al-Qaeda threat, not the PKK in the north.
The SYG stated that from a NATO perspective, more U.S.
coverage of the PKK would be helpful - one more major attack
by the PKK would push Turkey over the edge, he asserted. On
Afghanistan, the SYG and LTG Lute agreed on the imperative to
develop Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) to hold ground
that ISAF had cleared. The SYG stated that with UNAMA SRSF
Koenigs leaving in February, the international community
needed to put forward a candidate for the proposed
international coordinator "gorilla" soon, or risk being
overcome by events. The SYG also raised an upcoming report
from Amnesty International that he expected would call on
ISAF forces not to transfer detainees to the Afghan
government, and noted the potential for future prisoner
executions by the Afghan government to erode European support
for ISAF. END SUMMARY.

--------------
Iraq - Looking Brighter, but whither NTM-I?
--------------



2. (C) LTG Lute told the SYG that most security and economic
indicators of progress in Iraq were trending upwards of late.
Security at the provincial and tribal levels had improved as
a result of the "tribal awakening" against extremists -
political accommodation at the grassroots level that began in
Anbar province among Sunnis but which was also beginning to
encompass Shiite communities. The lack of political progress
within the Iraqi central government was a top U.S. priority,
LTG Lute stated. The Secretary General asked for LTG Lute's
take on NTM-I, based on his meetings with U.S. commanders.
LTG Lute relayed that U.S. commanders had expressed
satisfaction with the quality of NATO's training efforts, and
saw future possibilities for NATO involvement in building
Iraqi army niche capabilities and in institutional training
such as military academies and NCO schools. The Italian
decision to provide gendarme training through NTM-I was
useful, LTG Lute stated, and he also conveyed commanders'
views that over the long-term, NATO involvement in developing
mil-mil contacts between Iraqi and NATO armies through
programs such as exchanges and schooling would be an
important investment. The SYG stressed the need for a
dialogue to begin as quickly as possible between U.S.
commanders and NATO to factor in these ideas, as NTM-I under
its present mandate was quickly winding down.

-------------- --------------
SYG: One more big PKK attack on Turkey, and "the balloon goes
up"
-------------- --------------


3. (S) Ambassador Nuland asked LTG Lute to share with the
Secretary General the latest U.S. thoughts on the situation

SIPDIS
in northern Iraq between Turkey and the PKK. The SYG noted
that Turkey had not asked for formal NATO consultations, but
regularly briefed him on the situation. One more big attack
by the PKK on Turkish forces, he said, and the "balloon goes
up," i.e. the internal political situation in Turkey will
become unmanageable and force the Turkish government to take
decisive action in northern Iraq. An Article 4 situation at
NATO was also quite within the realm of possibility (note:
Article 4 of the Washington Treaty reads: "The Parties will
consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the
territorial integrity, political independence or security of
any of the Parties is threatened."). The SYG stated that

USNATO 00000591 002 OF 003


from a purely NATO perspective, a shift in U.S. intelligence
assets to cover more PKK threats in the north would be helpful


4. (S) LTG Lute stated that U.S. intel efforts in Iraq are
focused on the al-Qaeda threat, and any target shifts to the
north would mean a zero-sum reduction in focus on al-Qaeda.
This posed a problem, as did the fact that much of the U.S.
effort in Iraq was built on sensitive HUMINT networks that
had taken much time to develop and could not just be shifted
around the country. Further, imagery intelligence had limits
against the PKK, which largely blended into the civilian
Kurdish population. LTG Lute noted that perhaps more could
be done using existing signals intelligence networks.

-------------- --------------
Afghanistan: ANSF is the key, and "we need a name" for the
gorilla
-------------- --------------


5. (C) Fresh off intense discussions of ANSF training and
equipping led by Secretary of Defense Gates at the October
24-25 Noordwijk NATO Defense Ministerial, an exasperated SYG
expressed frustration with weak Allied efforts thus far,
Afghan government incapacity, and the cycle of ground cleared
by ISAF being lost to insurgents due to the inability of ANSF
to hold the territory. Neither President Karzai nor MOD
Wardak knew the answer, he asserted. LTG Lute agreed that
competent, well equipped ANSF, deployed in the right mix to
each situation, were key to breaking the pattern of territory
oscillating between ISAF and insurgent control. He told the
SYG he would look closely at current targets for the size and
composition of ANSF upon his return to Washington, with a
view to determining if they were adequate or needed to be
altered. He also said that there was a need to look at some
of the positive lessons from the tribal awakening in Iraq, to
explore how best to use Afghan tribal structures to fill some
ofthe current policing voids. Counselor Cohen noted the size
of the international coalition in Iraq (approximately 160K
soldiers) dwarfed that in Afghanistan (approximately 50K), a
situation only exacerbated by the extreme poverty,
infrastructure devastation, larger size, corruption, and
pervasive narcotics challenges in Afghanistan.


6. (S) All agreed on the pressing need for a "gorilla," a
prominent international figure to marshal and spur the
oftentimes disparate efforts of national capitals into a more
coordinated international assistance effort. "Tell Washington
we need a name quickly," the SYG urged LTG Lute. UNAMA SRSG
Koenigs is set to leave his post on February 1, at which
time, the SYG speculated, it would be all too easy for a
skeptical Ban Ki-Moon to appoint a successor to Koenigs,
announce President Karzai's support, and effectively squash
the idea for good.


7. (C) Noting an upcoming discussion among PermReps on
October 30, the SYG pointed to a pending report by Amnesty
International (AI) that is expected to express a lack of
confidence in the Afghan legal system, and recommend ISAF
forces not transfer detainees to the Afghan government. The
AI report stands to create some difficulty with European
parliaments. The SYG also pointed to the recent executions
of convicted criminals by the Afghan government, and noting
UK MOD Browne's comments to Ministers and the SYG in
Noordwijk about "universal values," reinforced his belief
that continued executions stood to erode European support for
the ISAF mission. In response to questions by the Counselor
and Dr. Gordon as to how the U.S. can help Europe understand
the big picture and the stakes of failure in Afghanistan, the
SYG asked for help with resources to obtain the modern
communications equipment necessary to get NATO's story out to
the European public, and the need to continue engaging
nations such as Italy and Spain to convince leaders that ISAF
was more than a traditional UN "blue helmet" mission. NATO
Spokesman Appathurai stressed the need to press European
leaders to speak out in defense of the ISAF mission, which
many are loathe to do for domestic political reasons.


8. (SBU) Participants:

U.S.
--------------

USNATO 00000591 003 OF 003


Ambassador Victoria Nuland
LTG Douglas Lute
Counselor Eliot Cohen
S/P David Gordon
DASD/Afghanistan Mitchell Shivers
C COS COL Stephen Ganyard
John Cockrell, USNATO notetaker

NATO
--------------
Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer

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ASG Operations Martin Howard
Private Office Director Henne Schuwer
NATO Spokesman James Appathurai
NATO Private Office Policy Planning Chief Jamie Shea
Private Office Deputy Director Lisa Johnson


8. (U) LTG Lute and Counselor Cohen have cleared this
message.
OLSON