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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07USNATO609
2007-11-19 12:36:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Mission USNATO
Cable title:  

ACTION REQUEST: FUNDING TO CONTINUE NATO-RUSSIA

Tags:   NATO  PREL  MARR  RU 
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OO RUEHDBU
DE RUEHNO #0609/01 3231236
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FM USMISSION USNATO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1389
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RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL IMMEDIATE 0733
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE 5800
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RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT IMMEDIATE 4879
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 USNATO 000609 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE/INL, EUR/RPM, EUR/ACE, DEA/ASAC/TRNG FOR D. BRACCIO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/05/2017
TAGS: NATO PREL MARR RU
SUBJECT: ACTION REQUEST: FUNDING TO CONTINUE NATO-RUSSIA
COUNTER-NARCOTICS PROJECT

REF: PETERSON/SMYTH EMAILS

Classified By: Ambassador Victoria Nuland for reasons 1.4 (b), (d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 USNATO 000609

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE/INL, EUR/RPM, EUR/ACE, DEA/ASAC/TRNG FOR D. BRACCIO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/05/2017
TAGS: NATO PREL MARR RU
SUBJECT: ACTION REQUEST: FUNDING TO CONTINUE NATO-RUSSIA
COUNTER-NARCOTICS PROJECT

REF: PETERSON/SMYTH EMAILS

Classified By: Ambassador Victoria Nuland for reasons 1.4 (b), (d)


1. (C) ACTION REQUEST: See paragraph 10.


2. (C) SUMMARY: Russia, Allies, contributing partners, and
recipient countries enthusiastically support the continuation
of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) 2006-07 pilot project to
train counter-narcotics officials in Central Asia and
Afghanistan in 2008-09. This project advances the U.S.
policy goals of countering the flow of Afghan narcotics and
promoting cooperation with Russia on an area of growing
mutual concern. It is one of the few projects in the NRC
that has not been derailed, frozen, or curtailed by the
Kremlin's increasingly difficult positions. Therefore, post
requests funding in 2008-09 at the same levels in real terms
as 2006-07 (i.e., USD 600,000 total with USD 300,000 from the
Department of Defense and USD 300,000 from the Department of
State). In the past, French "red lines" on non-military
projects at NATO have hindered the development of this type
of project. We should take advantage of newfound French
interest in this project to consolidate it. End summary.

--------------
BACKGROUND
--------------


2. (SBU) In 2006-07, NATO-Russia Council (NRC) teams trained
330 drug enforcement officials from Afghanistan and all five
Central Asian republics. Trainers from Turkey, Greece, UK,
Hungary, Romania, and Italy joined DEA and/or Russian-led
teams to conduct the training. The 2006-07 pilot phase of
the project will conclude with the DEA-led training of Afghan
officials in Kabul in December; three trainers from NATO
partner Finland will assist in this training (NOTE: Sweden is
closely watching Finnish participation in considering its own
participation. End note).


3. (SBU) The NRC has approved plans to continue the pilot
project into 2008-09, and the NATO International Staff is
calling for renewal of contributions. Of the USD 600,000

U.S. contribution in 2006-07, the Office of the Secretary of
Defense (OSD) provided USD 300,000 to fund DEA training costs
and travel-related expenses for five rounds of two-week
training courses in Afghanistan and Central Asia. The State
Department's Bureau of International Law Enforcement (INL)
has provided USD 300,000 to the NRC budget to cover the
project administration costs for 2006-07. The INL
contribution to the NRC budget is 21.3 percent of the
project's costs ($1.4 million), which is in line with the
traditional U.S. contribution to NATO projects. Russia
estimates to have spent USD 200,000 in 2006-07 to support its
training teams, and has already approved another USD 200,000
for 2008-09.


4. (C) Allies and Russia have widely praised the NATO-Russia
Council (NRC) counter-narcotics pilot project for building
cooperation in the fight against Afghan narcotics. Allies,
as well as contributing partners (i.e., Finland), are
enthusiastic about contributing to this successful project,
citing the opportunity to work with DEA as a major motivating
factor. In a high-level steering meeting on October 22,
representatives from the five central Asian Republics and
Afghanistan lauded the project for enhancing the technical
abilities of their drug enforcement efforts, and helping them
to create a network of drug enforcement contacts. While
Russia has curtailed or frozen its participation in other NRC
committees in 2006, it has sought to expand its participation
in the counter-narcotics project. In 2008-09, Russia will
lead six of the trainings in its Domodedovo Center. If

USNATO 00000609 002 OF 003


funding can be secured, DEA would lead the three mobile
trainings in the recipient countries as well as two trainings
in the Domodedovo Center in Moscow.

--------------
BENEFITS TO UNITED STATES
--------------


5. (SBU) The NRC project contributes to top U.S. policy goals
of countering the flow of illegal narcotics from Afghanistan
by increasing the effectiveness of Central Asian and Afghan
drug enforcement efforts. This goal is key to our efforts to
stabilize Afghanistan and undermine sources of funding for
the Taliban. Through the shoulder-to-shoulder cooperation in
the project, DEA can strengthen its drug enforcement contacts
with the Central Asian countries, which are all major transit
routes for Afghan narcotics. We also gain by working
directly with Allied and Russian trainers to create a network
of counter-narcotic officials. Through this project, we have
seen Russian and Allied trainers improve their methods as
they mimic DEA methods.


6. (C) Russia and our Allies share our concern over the
threats of Afghan narcotics. At a time when NATO often plays
the "bogey man" in Russian domestic politics, it is in our
interest to keep Russia engaged at NATO in areas of mutual
interest. One by one, we have seen politics extend its arm
to meddle or impede the technical work in NRC working groups.
The most dramatic exception in 2007 has been
counter-narcotics. Thus far, Russia has been an active and
constructive partner in this working group. Please note that
Russia and our Allies would over-interpret any U.S. reduction
from the project through the hyper-sensitive political lense.



7. (C) We have tried to keep the program balanced between the
Russian-led and U.S.-led training sessions. Russia has
offered to expand its training in 2008-09 from five to six
training sessions. Therefore, we believe it absolutely
essential to continue U.S. participation at the same levels
in 2008-09 as done previously (i.e., 5 training sessions).
Allies are supportive of this project -- contributing both
funding and personnel -- but few Allies can provide a full
five-man training team. Therefore, without full U.S.
participation, the project will effectively become a Russian
project with NATO enforcement. This would be counter to our
interests in maintaining an active role in the region on this
issue.

--------------
A FRESH WIND BLOWING FROM PARIS
--------------


8. (C) Citing its "red line" on non-military projects at
NATO, the French delegation has consistently blocked this
type of project, and only allowed the pilot project to go
forward in the NRC context because of universal support from
Allies and Russia. In the past, France chose not to
participate or fund the pilot phase of the project. Now the
French NRC representative tells us that he plans to ask Paris
to participate in the project in 2008-09. France already
conducts bilateral counter-narcotic training in Afghanistan
and its participation could provide a boost to balancing the
project between NATO and Russia. We should be fully
supportive of this initiative to break down French "red
lines."


9. (SBU) Post requests OSD and State/INL continue funding the
NRC counter-narcotics in Afghanistan and Central Asia for
2008-09 at the same level provided in 2006-07 (i.e., $300,000
from each Department adjusted for inflation and exchange

USNATO 00000609 003 OF 003


rate).
NULAND