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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08USNATO144
2008-04-23 10:26:00
CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN
Mission USNATO
Cable title:  

PM MALIKI ADDRESSES THE NAC AND CALLS FOR EXPANDED

Tags:   NATO  PREL  MARR  IZ 
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VZCZCXRO5521
PP RUEHBC RUEHBW RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHNO #0144/01 1141026
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 231026Z APR 08
FM USMISSION USNATO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1813
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 0544
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0521
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0706
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 6506
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0394
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 0787
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0492
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0732
RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW 4139
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 USNATO 000144 

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

STATE PASS TO RPM: CDAVY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/22/2018
TAGS: NATO PREL MARR IZ
SUBJECT: PM MALIKI ADDRESSES THE NAC AND CALLS FOR EXPANDED
TRAINING MISSION

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



1. (C) SUMMARY. On Thursday, April 17, Iraqi Prime Minister
Maliki urged the North Atlantic Council to extend and expand
the mission of the NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I).
Maliki stressed that Iraq needs to develop the security
structures required to recruit, train, and maintain the Iraq
Security Forces (ISF) on "land, sea, and air." Referring
specifically to the fight on terror, he said the most
important step is to secure the country's borders with a
strong police force capable of using the latest technology
available, a goal NTM-I could help achieve. The Prime
Minister also expressed his desire to see Iraq's relationship
with NATO evolve into one of equals, with each partner
helping the other achieve its objectives in the region. END
SUMMARY.

NATO Training Mission ) Iraq


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




2. (C) PM Maliki thanked NATO Allies for their assistance to
NTM-I and their decision at the Bucharest Summit to extend
the mission. He said while significant progress has been
made in developing Iraqi security structures and
institutions, more work needed to be done. He urged Allies
to expand NTM-I to all branches of the military, saying that
training and education were vital to modernizing Iraq's armed
forces. (Note: Iraqi Defense Minister Abdul Qader al-Obeidi
made similar points on April 16 to selected PermReps and
members of the NATO International Staff.)



3. (C) Regarding specific training requests for NTM-I, the
Prime Minister emphatically stated that border security was a
priority for his government. He argued only well trained
forces, using the latest in technology, would be able to
control Iraq,s 3200 kilometer border. Another priority was
assistance to end the arms smuggling that occurs around the
country. He also called for greater police training and
asked that the gendarmerie training conducted by the Italian
carabinieri be expanded. Maliki reported that a
carabinieri-trained National Police battalion had acquitted
themselves very well in the recent Basrah operations, adding
that he was personally grateful for the NATO training they
had received; a comment both welcomed and reinforced in many
PermRep's interventions.

ISF: The Key To A Better Future


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




4. (C) Maliki said that the increased effectiveness of the
ISF in establishing the rule of law was demonstrable:
sectarian killings were down 85 percent, car bombings were
down 90 percent, and IEDs incidents were down 70 percent.
Maliki argued that the increasingly non-sectarian nature of
the ISF had played a key role in this success, resulting in a
truer partnership between the people and their security

forces. As an example, he cited the closer relationship
between the ISF and local tribes in areas such as Anbar
province. Maliki also said that this success had given the
people of Iraq a reason to hope for a brighter future, with
markets and schools returning to life.

Fighting Terrorism


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




5. (C) Maliki said that ISF and the Multi-National Coalition
had made significant progress in unraveling Al Qaeda in Iraq
(AQI) networks. He said that because terrorists coordinated
their activities internationally, democratic nations must
also globally coordinate their actions to fight terrorism.

Basrah: No Time To Wait


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




6. (C) Describing Basrah as a city that had fallen under the
control of armed militias and criminal thugs, Maliki argued
that his government,s recent operations in the southern city
had been necessary and could not have been delayed. "The
operations were strictly about returning law and order to the
streets of Basrah; it was not a political battle, it was not
a religious battle, it was a battle to restore security," he

USNATO 00000144 002 OF 003


said. Maliki said that disarming militias was his highest
law and order priority. Maliki argued that the operations in
Basrah had been successful in that government forces had
taken control of the strategically important port facilities
and nearby oil distribution system.

Maliki Sidesteps Iran Question


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




7. (C) When Ambassador Nuland and several of her colleagues
asked Maliki about Iran,s involvement in Iraq, Maliki did
not answer the question directly. On a number of occasions
he glancingly referred to "external influences," and he said
that Iraq would not tolerate "external interventions." He
also made the observation that the "wars and adventures" of
the previous regime had left Iraq with certain burdens in
regard to its neighbors.

Elections


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




8. (C) In response to a question from the Spanish PermRep,
Maliki reported that provincial elections will be held on
October 1. He reported that the Iraqi Political Committee
for National Security (PCNS) had decided to bar the
participation of political parties with active militia arms,
stressing the importance of this step to reduce the role of
militias in Iraqi political life. He said that his
government had invited international observers, such as from
the EU, to witness the electoral process. Maliki underscored
the importance of the elections to the Iraqi people and vowed
not to let them down.

De-Baathification Reform


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




9. (C) In responding to several questions by PermReps, PM
Maliki discussed the recently passed De-Baathification Reform
Law ) known formally as the "Accountability and Justice
Law". He said that the law draws a distinction between the
vast majority of former Baath party members who were forced
to join the party in order to continue their studies, buy a
house, or get a job and the relatively few former Baath
members who had in fact committed crimes. Pointing out that
many senior Iraqi military officers had once been in the
Baath Party, Maliki said that the new law would play an
important role in reintegrating people in the former group
back into Iraqi society. At the same time, he made clear
that the Iraqi constitution prevented the Baath Party from
ever again playing a role in Iraqi politics

PermRep Interventions


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




10. (C) The overwhelming response from PermReps was positive
and supportive. PermReps stressed that Iraq had the
responsibility to tell NATO what it needs, adding that Allies
would then consider these requests. They also noted that
NATO,s new structured cooperative framework with Iraq be
carried out in the spirit of "joint ownership." SYG de Hoop
Scheffer added that NATO's relationship with Iraq was a
"partnership moving forward with mutual respect."



11. (C) Ambassador Nuland said that the evolving NATO-Iraq
relationship would lead to "a partnership of equals." She
said that NATO Allies and Iraq shared the common goals of
spreading democratic values, fighting terror, and eliminating
weapons of mass destruction. She argued that these shared
goals would be the basis of the "living partnership" between
NATO and Iraq, a partnership that must endure, strengthen,
and deepen. She called for an enhanced and more frequent
dialogue between Iraq and NATO.



12. (C) Italian PermRep Stefanini termed Maliki's visit a
"launching pad" for NATO's relationship with Iraq, a phrase
repeated by a number of others. Stefanini stressed the
importance of political dialogue in this relationship and
also said that his country was ready to do more to help the
Iraqi people. He announced that, on April 20, former Italian
PermRep Moreno would lead a conference in Iraq on
international humanitarian law.

USNATO 00000144 003 OF 003





13. (C) The Turkish PermRep also struck a strong, positive
tone, saying that his country valued the cooperation it has
with Iraq. He drew particular attention to increased
cooperation between the two governments in the fight against
PKK terrorism. He said the ISF have made a point of
reaching-out to the Turkish military of late, and the Turks
want this to continue. The Turkish PermRep stated that NTM-I
has been a success, but that its mission could be enhanced
further to include subjects such as border security training.




14. (C) The Polish PermRep announced that his country was
making plans to add more troops to NTM-I, as did the
Bulgarian PermRep. The UK PermRep observed that the
relationship between NATO Allies and Iraqi is symbiotic and
beneficial to both sides: "the UK military has been
transformed as it has helped the Iraqi military to transform."



15. (C) The French and Belgians sounded the only sour notes,
although their interventions were couched in such a manner
that their meaning likely escaped Maliki. The French tied
future NTM-I training activities to those already approved in
the OPLAN, a subtle way to rehash old procedural battles at
NATO HQ. The Belgians said that future NATO cooperation is
dependent upon an improved security situation, "a sine qua
non for their support." The Germans did not intervene at all.
OLSON