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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08TBILISI2399 2008-12-15 14:41:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi
Cable title:  

GEORGIA: OPPOSITION PARLIAMENTARIANS PROPOSE NEW

Tags:   PREL PGOV PHUM KDEM GG 
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1. (U) Summary: Members of the Parliamentary minority faction
Christian-Democrats (CDM) have presented a plan for a new
national security initiative, including a new structure for
the national security council. The initiative is intended to
address the problems identified in the aftermath of Georgia's
response to Russia's August invasion. The proposed new NSC
mirrors many elements of the United States National Security
Council structure. The CDM proposal envisions a higher level
"Deputies Commission" consisting of deputy ministers and a
lower level "Senior Commission" made up of ministry
department heads. The Senior Commission would work with a
"Working Group" of relevant professionals and executives, who
would implement the orders of the Deputies and Senior
Commissions. Parliament would consult with and provide staff
to the Working Group and Senior Commissions on an as-needed
basis. The Christian-Democrats are currently drafting
legislation in order to formally introduce this proposal to
the Parliament. End Summary.

CDM PROPOSES NEW NSC



2. (U) On December 8, CDM members of the Parliament presented
a plan for a new national security initiative, including a
new structure for the national security council, to the
diplomatic corps. The Christian-Democrats plan to turn their
proposal into a bill for consideration by the Parliament.
(Note: Embassy has emailed a scanned version of the proposed
structure to EUR-CARC. End note.) MP Nikoloz Laliashvili,
who also sits on the ad-hoc Parliamentary Committee
investigating the August conflict (reftel), presented the
proposal. Faction leader Giorgi Targamadze and Deputy
Speaker Levan Vepkhvadze also attended the presentation.

A PLAN TO FIX PROBLEMS



3. (U) Laliashvili said the initiative was intended to
address the many problems identified in the aftermath of
Georgia's response to Russia's August invasion. These
problems include:a lack of institutionalization within
existing structures, lack of expertise at multiple levels
both within and outside government, lack of interagency
cooperation in times of crisis, an inadequate security
council structure, and inadequate security council staff
(both in number and capability). In addressing these
problems, the new initiative aims to: facilitate inter-agency
communication, develop cooperation and coordination between
governmental bodies, develop Georgia's security sector to
NATO standard (therefore meeting key NATO recommendations),
develop strategic national security plans, and include
national security priorities in all governmental agencies'
plans.

TWO COMMISSIONS TO COORDINATE THE INTERAGENCY



4. (U) The proposed National Security Council (NSC) structure
would consist of a higher level "Deputies Commission" and a
lower level "Senior Commission." The Deputies Commission
would include deputy ministers and heads of relevant ministry
departments. It would be chaired by the Secretary of the
NSC, who would report directly to President Saakashvili. The
Deputies Commission's primary responsibility would be to
formulate strategic concepts, make appropriate
recommendations to the president, and implement inter-agency
coordination on defense and security reforms. The Senior
Commission would consist of heads of ministry departments and
relevant agencies. This commission would identify objectives
and plan events to implement the proposals of the Deputies
Commission. In addition, it would identify needs and
QCommission. In addition, it would identify needs and
directions of national security issues, and make
recommendations on these to the Deputies Commission.

...A WORKING GROUP, AND PARLIAMENT



5. (U) The Senior Commission would work with a "Working
Group" of relevant professionals and executives to implement
the orders of the Deputies and Senior Commissions.
Parliament would consult with and provide staff to the
Working Group and Senior Commissions on an as-needed basis.
NGOs and Foreign Advisors would also contribute to the
inter-agency process, encourage transparency, and promote
public discussion on national security issues. CDM envisions
that this proposal would result in an NSC that encourages and
manages interagency cooperation and coordination, and in
which comprehensive strategic national security assessments,
policies, and strategies would be worked out and implemented.


TBILISI 00002399 002 OF 002


COMMENT



6. (SBU) The Christian-Democratic proposal closely
approximates the United States NSC system. Given the
challenges in interagency coordination faced by the GOG
during the August conflict, a structure that would bring
together those responsible for advising the President could
help improve the country's ability to respond in a crisis.
The CDM proposal appears to be a serious approach to address
systemic and structural gaps in Georgia's national security
capacity. It is unclear how and whether the CDM will be able
to move the bill through Saakashvili's United National
Movement (UNM) majority in Parliament. However, many
government officials and parliamentarians, including the
Parliamentary Investigatory Commission reviewing the August
conflict, have noted the need for increased cooperation in
security affairs.



7. (C) Over the years, the USG has supported work, most
recently through the Rand Corporation, to develop an NSC
system in Georgia and we've suggested to the Christian
Democrats that they look at some of the previous work done on
this subject. Regardless of whether or not the legislation
is adopted, the Christian Democrats are trying to come up
with substantive policy suggestions and are participating in
ongoing policy debates. This is in stark contrast to some
members of the opposition outside of parliament who continue
to advocate for removing Saakashvili and hold new
parliamentary elections.
TEFFT