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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07USNATO623
2007-11-29 19:02:00
CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN
Mission USNATO
Cable title:  

NORTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL READOUT - NOVEMBER 28, 2007

Tags:   NATO  PREL  AF 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 07 USNATO 000623 

SIPDIS

NOFORN
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E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/29/2017
TAGS: NATO PREL AF
SUBJECT: NORTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL READOUT - NOVEMBER 28, 2007

REF: A: SECSTATE 159862

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



1. (C/NF) Summary from the NAC Meeting:

-- Afghanistan: The SYG noted that the first draft of the
Autumn 2007 ISAF Periodic Mission Review has been sent to the
Policy Coordinating Group (PCG). Chairman of the Military
Committee (CMC) General Henault noted that SHAPE,s PRT
initiatives are being studied by the Military Committee.
ISAF operational tempo remains high. The number of incidents
through October 2007 is greater than in all of 2006. Senior
Civilian Representative (SCR) Everts, who participated by VTC
from Kabul, noted early reports on civilian casualties in
Nurestan and poor relations between parliament and President
Karzai. He also briefed on reconciliation measures with the
Taliban and corruption issues in Afghanistan.

Several PermReps called for ISAF to develop a rapid reaction
public affairs capability. Other questions were raised about
the reconciliation process, the status of Rule of Law, police
reform, synergy among NATO and other international
organizations, corruption, UNAMA coordination, ANA
deployments, the security situation in Kabul, and the
Pakistani border region.

-- Balkans: The SYG informed the NAC that there is no
indication that the Troika's efforts will result in a
settlement. The SYG will travel to Kosovo on Friday. The
CMC commented that after the November 17 elections, KFOR has
maintained a high level of operations including night ops.
CMC Henault said SHAPE is planning for contingencies and is
having discussions with EUFOR on crisis response should there
be simultaneous crises in both Kosovo and Bosnia and
Herzegovina.

-- Darfur: The SYG reported that Government of Sudan
obstructionism and deficiencies in enablers continue to slow
UNAMID deployment and undermine the effectiveness of units
that are deployed. NATO will transport two remaining AU
battalions in the coming days to complete its contribution to
the AU's autumn rotation.

-- Iraq: The Periodic Mission Review (PMR) for NATO Training
Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) has been provisionally approved by the
PCG. Ambassador Nuland reported on the "Declaration of
Principles for a Long-Term Relationship of Cooperation and
Friendship between the Republic of Iraq and the U.S.," signed
by President Bush and PM Maliki on November 26.

-- Response to Terrorism: CMC Henault commented that
Operation Active Endeavor was engaged in a large surge
activity in the Mediterranean, with its normal complement
augmented by the 17-ship NATO maritime group that was in the
area while completing its recent circumnavigation of Africa.

-- Report of the Senior Resource Board: The NAC noted the SRB
2007 Annual Report, but was unable to agree to SRB Policy
Guidance for the next five years.


-- Statements on Political Subjects: Ambassador Nuland

USNATO 00000623 002 OF 007


briefed the NAC on the Middle East Peace Conference in
Annapolis and on the difficult U.S. ) Russia bilateral
discussions on CFE and missile defense that took place in
Washington November 28. Several Allies thanked the U.S. for
efforts to preserve the CFE treaty and noted the importance
of showing unity should Russia withdraw from the adapted CFE
treaty on December 12. The Baltic states noted the need for
all Allies to be fully consulted on any negotiations on the
CFE.

-- AOB: The UK reported that five nations had circulated a
joint letter with ideas for overcoming NATO's chronic
shortage of helicopters and a draft NAC tasking for further
action. Several Allies offered statements of support.

END SUMMARY.



--------------------------


Afghanistan


--------------------------





2. (C/NF) The SYG noted that the first draft of the Autumn
2007 ISAF Periodic Mission Review has moved out of the
Military Committee and gone to the PCG.



3. (C/NF) CMC Henault noted that SHAPE's PRT initiatives are
being studied by the Military Committee, based on proposals
raised at the April 2007 SHAPE PRT Conference, and the MC
will provide advice to the NAC. Many proposals address the
civilian side of PRT activities and include enhancing unity
of PRT efforts.



4. (C/NF) IMS Assistant Director for Intelligence Karen Laino
briefed the NAC on ISAF operations, stating that operational
tempo remains high and ISAF Operation PAMIR continues. The
Theatre Task Force is working in Kandahar with CIMIC ops
along the Ring Road. The number of incidents involving ISAF
troops through October 2007 is greater than in all of 2006.
In RC-North, ISAF supported an ANA-led operation that cleared
areas of Ghormach district in Badghis province of Opposing
Militant Forces (OMF). In RC-West, ISAF supported ANSF
efforts to expel OMF from Gulestan and Bakwa districts in
Farah province. In RC-South, Task Force Uruzgan is operating
in the Baluchi pass and other areas of Uruzgan province.
Operations are ongoing in northern Helmand, near the Kajaki
dam, where OMF are proving resilient. In RC-East, ANA 203rd
Corps led an operation that cleared part of Paktika province
of OMF.



5. (C/NF) In Pakistan, the Pakistani Army continues with
Operation Mountain Viper. Rawalpindi suicide attacks may
trigger Pakistani Army response in FATA that could put more
pressure on OMF there.



6. (C/NF) SCR Everts, participating by VTC from Kabul, noted
early reports on civilian casualties in Nurestan when a
roadwork crew was reportedly struck, possibly by ISAF
aircraft, resulting in 10-20 civilian KIA. He reported on
the state of poor relations between Parliament and President
Karzai, relating to Karzai's poor handling of the
investigation of the November 6 Baghlan bombing. The Speaker
of Parliament led a walkout in Parliament that finally ended

USNATO 00000623 003 OF 007


after Karzai met with the Speaker. Everts said this event
illustrated how Karzai is insulated and has not built bridges
in Parliament. Everts briefed that reconciliation with the
Taliban proceeds on two tracks. The PTS program, which has
weaknesses but also merit, aims at low-level insurgents. In
parallel, Karzai is engaging directly with high-level Taliban
leaders, and he wants an ad hoc Afghan approach without any
international interference. He has had some Taliban response
to his feelers. Of interest, Mullah Omar's former spokesman
has proposed a "Peace Commission" composed of religious
scholars and respected non-government members. The
Commission, a "trial balloon," would be a new and tentative
idea that has not been made public yet. Karzai is engaging
in these talks because he sees a stalemate on the
battlefield. Everts also stated that corruption continues to
be an enormous impediment to progress in all areas. Karzai
has announced a reshuffle of some senior officials, but
little progress has been made.



7. (C/NF) There was a screening of a CNN newsclip which used
a piece of declassified military video showing a Taliban
hiding under a burqa, and then ISAF aircraft not striking a
building where a Taliban meeting was taking place because a
small boy was sitting outside the doorway. NATO Spokesman
Appathurai commented in the video that OMF made more
effective use of video with the media thus far than ISAF.



8. (C/NF) Ambassador Nuland said that she had been unable to
get clarification from USG sources on the Nurestan civilian
casualties incident, noting that the first reports were AP
press reports quoting local Afghan officials, which
highlights the need for ISAF to have a rapid reaction public
affairs capability. The SYG concurred, noting that PermReps
discussed the importance of strategic messaging during their
Away Day discussions on November 27. CMC Henault responded
that SHAPE had not yet provided him with any clarification
either. SCR Everts, too, noted the need to wait for
clarification. Ambassador Nuland then reviewed Operation
ATTAL in Paktika in November, in which U.S. forces supported
ANA in clearing OMF out of a large area that had been
devastated by OMF. Paktika,s governor then held a shura
attended by 1,600 locals. Unfortunately, ISAF had missed an
opportunity and the good news story was never covered by the
press.



9. (C/NF) Canadian PermRep McRae asked how the reconciliation
process is playing in Parliament and among different ethnic
groups. Everts responded that the Peace Commission idea is
very tentative, but that loyal Afghan opposition figures,
such as Rabbani, appear to support the idea as long as it is
not just a "Pashtun Deal," but includes all Afghan
communities. McRae also asked about the status of Rule of
Law and police reform and Everts replied that "we've wasted
years but we're turning the corner now." He stated that
CSTC-A now has excellent leadership and is making progress,
and EUPOL is getting better and communication is improving
with CSTC-A.



10. (C/NF) Spanish PermRep Benevides noted that ISAF must
quickly and publicly make clear that it is investigating the
Nurestan civilian casualty incident. He asked about
"synergy" among NATO, EU, and UN efforts in Afghanistan

USNATO 00000623 004 OF 007


saying this should be a Bucharest deliverable. Everts
agreed, saying synergy has been difficult to achieve.



11. (C/NF) Norwegian PermRep Traavik expressed concern about
corruption and impunity, noting the recent case where five
perpetrators convicted of an attack in Maymana that killed
one Finnish and injured three Norwegian soldiers were
released from prison after three months. Everts noted this
example was not an isolated case, but illustrates a pattern
of corruption throughout the police and judicial system.
There has been little progress in this area, Everts added.



12. (C/NF) German PermRep Brandenburg regretted UNAMA's slow
movement in coordinating NGO efforts to follow Operation
HAREKATE YOLO II in RC-West. Everts agreed, saying only now
UNAMA is starting to get out into the field for a needs
assessment, and even so insisted that ISAF representatives
not join them "so as not to confuse military and civilian
efforts." Everts said he had expressed his disappointment
over this behavior to UNAMA but also noted that ISAF could
have done more to engage UNAMA during the operation,s
planning phases. He praised the U.S. effort in Konar for
meeting with elders and arranging reconstruction funding
before commencing military operations.



13. (C/NF) Dutch PermRep Schaper noted that Laino had briefed
on an increasing number of "incidents" in 2007 over 2006 and
asked how to interpret this. CMC Henault noted that ISAF
activities, e.g. Operation PAMIR, have increased over the
year, so this increase in activities has increased the
contacts between ISAF and OMF. Also, because winter is late
this year, the fighting has continued deeper into the autumn.
Everts added that the security situation is neither getting
better nor worse. Schaper also asked whether suicide attacks
are perceived as a victory for OMF, and Everts responded that
by creating a climate of fear in which it is believed the
Afghan government and ISAF cannot protect civilians, such
attacks are propaganda victories for the OMF.



14. (C/NF) Hungarian PermRep Martinusz asked about the effect
of the Afghan government's redeployment of ANA battalions,
since it has recently deployed units from the north to the
south. He asked whether this allowed the OMF to exploit the
lack of security forces in the north, for example with the
Baghlan bombing. Everts responded that the North is a police
problem and that the ANA are better deployed to the south.



15. (C/NF) French PermRep Duque asked about the security
situation in Kabul and its environs. Everts responded that
it depends on the area, with some areas improving. He added
that throughout Afghanistan (for example in Gazni), when good
officials are appointed they are able to make significant
improvement in the security situation.



16. (C/NF) UK PermRep Eldon asked for more information on
Pakistani army activities in FATA, and Everts opined that
Karzai is "gleeful" with the problems in Pakistan,s border
areas, because he feels that it gives the Pakistani
government a sense of the problems the Taliban create. Eldon
cautioned that we should make sure the Nurestan civilian
casualty incident was indeed caused by ISAF aircraft. The
SYG responded that his reports indicated it was ISAF aircraft

USNATO 00000623 005 OF 007


and agreed that ISAF should make it publicly known that it
will conduct a thorough investigation.



17. (C/NF) Lithuanian Deputy PermRep Varvuolis reviewed
events at a recent PRT conference in Vilnius.



--------------------------


Balkans


--------------------------





18. (C/NF) The SYG informed the NAC that there is no sign
that the Troika's efforts will result in a settlement. The
SYG will travel to Kosovo on November 30. CMC commented that
after the November 17 elections, KFOR has maintained a high
level of operations including night ops. Ambassador Nuland
asked about contingency planning in case of simultaneous
crises in both BiH and Kosovo. CMC said SHAPE is planning
for contingencies and is having discussions with EUFOR on
crisis response.



--------------------------


Darfur


--------------------------





19. (C/NF) The SYG reported the UN is having great difficulty
deploying UNAMID, the UN-AU hybrid force, due to the Sudanese
government obstructionist behavior. Ambassador Nuland
reported that UN USYG Guehenno's warned at the November 27
UNSCR meeting on Sudan that the obstacles from the government
of Sudan and force shortfalls were putting the UNAMID at risk
of failure. CMC said NATO will airlift two remaining AU
battalions in the coming days to complete the autumn AU
rotation schedule. He said NATO assistance to the AU had
been significant and since October 6 NATO had airlifted 7,751
troops, 39 APCs, and 360 tons of equipment.



--------------------------


Iraq


--------------------------





20. (U) The SYG noted that the Policy Coordination Group
(PCG) completed its work on the NTM-I PMR and it will now be
forwarded to Ukraine for consultation and sent to the NAC for
final approval. Ambassador Nuland, as per instruction in
reftel A, briefed the NAC on the Declaration of Principles
signed between the USG and GOI, highlighting that the
declaration is the first step in a three step process, and
that the U.S. hopes that the second step - the renewal of the
UNSCR Chapter VII mandate - will be accomplished quickly.
The Ambassador informed the NAC that she will distribute the
declaration to all delegations.



--------------------------


Response to Terrorism


--------------------------





21. (C/NF) CMC Henault commented that Operation Active
Endeavor was engaged in a large surge activity in the
Mediterranean, with its normal complement augmented by the
17-ship NATO maritime group that was in the area while
completing its recent circumnavigation of Africa.


USNATO 00000623 006 OF 007




--------------------------


Senior Resource Board Annual Report


--------------------------





22. (C/NF) Following a briefing by the Chairman of the Senior
Resource Board (SRB) on the 2007 SRB Annual Report, the
Council noted the report, supported work on further improving
resource management, but was unable to agree to the policy
guidance for the 2009 to 2013 planning period. While all
nations (except Turkey) advocated that future emphasis on
restoration of existing capabilities should be limited to
those supporting expeditionary capabilities, Turkey insisted
that restorations should also support Article 5 missions,
thus static infrastructure in Europe. The Council tasked the
SRB to continue discussions on the proposed policy guidance
for NAC reconsideration in the future.



--------------------------


Statements on Political Subjects


--------------------------





23. (C/NF) Ambassador Nuland briefed the NAC on the Middle
East Peace Conference in Annapolis. USNATO later circulated
to Allies the joint understanding concluded by PM Olmert,
President Abbas, and President Bush.



24. (C/NF) Ambassador Nuland also updated Allies on Russian
DFM Kisljak's November 28 meetings in Washington with A/S
Fried on CFE and A/S Rood on missile defense. USNATO later
circulated to Allies the U.S. proposals on CFE and a
non-paper on missile defense that had been discussed with
Kisljak in Washington.



25. (C/NF) Spanish PermRep Benavides, as OSCE Chairman in
Office, commented that Madrid was working with OSCE member
states to prepare a paragraph, acceptable to all OSCE states,
on CFE for the OSCE Ministerial Declaration. Benavides noted
that Russian disagreement prevented declarations from two
previous OSCE Ministerials.



26. (C/NF) Norway thanked the U.S. for the briefing on CFE,
stressed the importance of Allied unity, and warned against a
pattern in which Russia pockets concessions made by the
Allies and then seeks more. The Estonian PermRep, later
seconded by the Lithuanians and Estonians, expressed support
for U.S. efforts to convince Russia to remain in the CFE, but
said that any text that might have been proposed to the
Russians had not been discussed with them. Hungary asked
whether the U.S. was confident that proposal relating to
Moldova and Georgia would be acceptable to those countries.
Bulgaria said it thought it would be inappropriate to discuss
any changes to the flank regime before it entered into force.
Turkey also stressed the need for Allied unity and noted
that Russia deliberately sought to divide Allies on CFE.
Ambassador Nuland reiterated that there had been extensive
consultations with Allies, including the Baltics, on the
proposals made to the Russians and said Moldova and Georgia
had shown enormous generosity and flexibility and agree with
the proposals made to the Russians.

---
AOB

USNATO 00000623 007 OF 007


---



27. (C/NF) The UK Deputy PermRep noted that five nations (the
UK, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Canada)
sent a joint letter to the Secretary General with ideas for
overcoming NATO's chronic shortage of helicopters. The
UK-led effort (with plenty of text borrowed from a previous
U.S. thought paper written to the SYG) was intended to
provoke discussion at the "Helicopter Availability for NATO
Deployed Operations Workshop" at NATO HQ on December 5-6,


2007. The UK Deputy PermRep said he hoped NATO efforts would
lead to decisions at Bucharest for developing capability.



28. (C/NF) Ambassador Nuland said she looked forward to a NAC
tasking to begin work on the proposals as soon as possible
after the workshop. The Czech Republic, Canada, Spain, and
France made statements of support. Hungary suggested the
Senior Resource Board begin to work on resource implications
of a NATO helicopter initiative. The SYG said he and his
staff would look closely at the letter and give a quick
response to PermReps on a way ahead.
NULAND