|09KABUL587||2009-03-15 09:07:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Kabul|
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 000587
1. (C) Summary: British Deputy of Mission in Helmand Kevin
McGurgan and British Political Counselor Mark Bryson
Richardson visited the embassy's State PRT section on March
13 to discuss plans for heightened civilian-military
cooperation in Helmand. In light of the impending lay down
of thousands of U.S. troops across RC-S this summer, they
expressed a desire to further integrate international
partners, especially the United States, into the Task Force
and PRT in Helmand. The UK has begun revamping the Helmand
Road Map into a new Helmand Stabilization Plan, which aims to
be more inclusive of international partners than the
original Road Map. A first draft may be distributed for U.S.
and other international input by early April. McGurgan and
said the UK would like to better define the roles of each of
the USG positions - new and existing - into the summer, and
provided a non-paper (full text provided in para. 6) and two
annexes. End Summary.
2. (C) British Deputy in Helmand Kevin McGurgan reported to
State PRT Director in Kabul on March 13 that the U.S. and UK
enjoy close civil-military cooperation in Helmand. McGurgan
lauded State Department Representative Marlin Hardinger for
his active, productive participation in the PRT's work.
Although British civilian-military integration is quite
advanced, with 55 British military troops and 66 civilians
working at the PRT, the British want to improve on that model
by integrating more civilians into the military-dominated
task force (TF) level, and by making planning less
U.K.-centric. With this in mind, the UK Department for
International Development (DFID) - the British counterpart to
USAID - has been charged with drafting the revision to the
Helmand Road Map, to be renamed the Helmand Stabilization
Plan. The new Stabilization Plan will be much more inclusive
international partners than the Road Map and will continue to
prioritize joint planning with provincial GIRoA officials.
McGurgan expects that international partners - including the
U.S., Denmark, Estonia and the United Arab Emirates - will be
give input to the first draft as early as April.
3. (SBU) The current relief in place (RIP) of British troops
in Lashkar Gah has already started, and the transfer of
authority (TOA) should be complete by mid-April. McGurgan
invited the U.S. Embassy to discuss further planning with the
British in Helmand before the RIP-TOA. The British have also
asked that Marlin Hardinger participate in the Second Marine
Expeditionary Brigade Mission Readiness Exercise (2nd MEB
MRX) on 29 March to 1 April at Camp Lejeune, to help the new
unit prepare for its work in Helmand. We expect to respond
favorably to this request. The British are currently
designing the incorporation of the new MEB into the overall
Helmand Joint Command Board structure, and suggested they
would like a civilian to advise the Battalion commander in
Garmsir, especially on stabilization issues.
4. (SBU) On a practical note, McGurgan mentioned that new
office space at the PRT is almost ready to incorporate
additional personnel, but beds for new staff could be tougher
to find until June 2009. Alluding to the lack of Memorandum
for UK-U.S. operations in Helmand, he said the accommodations
challenge has sparked a debate over cost recovery among the
British, and he expects this issue to remain a topic of
discussion in the coming months.
5. (C) To better define the British plans for integration in
Helmand, McGurgan provided a British confidential non-paper
entitled "Civil-Military Cooperation in RC-South: Measures in
Hand to Integrate U.S. with UK and other TCNs,"(provided in
full in para. 6). Two annexes entitled "U.S. Integration
into Helmand PRT" and "Parameters for Joining Up: UK/U.S.
(And Other Players') Governance R&D Efforts in Helmand"
serve to better define the roles of U.S. civilian and
military positions in Helmand and RC-S, and proposed
approaches to key integration issues. Post has provided both
annexes electronically to SRAP and SCA/A.
6. (C) Text of "Civil-Military Cooperation in RC-South:
Measures in Hand to Integrate U.S. with UK and other TCNs"
KABUL 00000587 002 OF 002
- Principles on Single PRT Structure: to coordinate all
stabilisation and development business with Helmand
authorities, Brig. Nicholson has told the RC-S Joint Command
Board that COMISAF has endorsed this main principle; and both
Nicholson and Comd MEB have said they like/accept the more
detailed propositions in the attached annex.
- Current Representation in PRT: State Department officer
fully integrated into Political Section; USAID representative
based in shared office with DFID Governance, Health, and
Education Teams; USMC Civil Affairs LO (liaison with SPMAGTAF
currently responsible for Now Zad, and with the incoming MEB
to ensure it has situational awareness of Helmand and of the
role of PRT); PEF LO (shared with TFH) to coordinate
- Additional U.S. Staffing for PRT:
- MEB to provide U.S. Military Deputy for PRT from
April. Overall head of MEB Civil Affairs. (Already agreed by
- Attached list of extra PRT slots (e.g. media, CN,
political/governance, civil affairs StabAds), has been fully
incorporated in RC-S DCom Stabilisation's formal bid
(endorsed by U.S. Embassy) for extra U.S. civilian staff (71)
across the South.
- Garmsir: Agreement in principle between PRT and MEB that UK
civilian StabAds should continue to lead District
Stabilization Team until U.S. civilian equivalents available.
Precise working relationship with the incoming U.S.
Battalion's Civil Affairs team of 5-7 (broadly equivalent to
our MSST) has yet to be pinned down.
- Joint Planning:
- Helmand Programme Board: Meets fortnightly.
Coordinates decisions on SAF expenditure with DFID, DN,
USAID, and CERPs plans. Intent is to involve Governor idc.
- Helmand Road Map: U.S. Reps (State, USAID, MC) are
fully involved in its "refresh," which will be shared with
their respective head offices. Ambition/intent is for HRM to
be endorsed by all chains of command (ISAF, national and
ideally Afghan) as the shared set of detailed stabilisation
objectives in Helmand.
- JCB/JEMS: Preliminary agreement with MEB to introduce
a Joint Effects Management System, and Joint Coordination
Board, structure and process between the PRT and the two ISAF
Brigade staffs in Helmand. This would rotate between LGK and
Bastion. Agreement, too, that Comd MEB should join weekly
private dinner sessions with Governor.
- Joint Coordination Board(s): Involving all Hds PRTs/Civreps
and Comd TFs (as well as UNAMA, and ANSF for certain
sessions). Monthly, chaired by COM RC-S. U.S. participates
fully through Brigadier Nicholson (DCOM STAB), Colonel Duffy
White (CO, SPMAGTAF), Colonel Sommerskill (Head ARSIC), as
well as U.S. PolAd and USAID reps.
- Civ-Mil Cell: Works with Brigadier Nicholson to improve
coordination of civilian military activities in RC-S.
Current acting head is the UK StabAd. Cell has already
- Regional Working Group on Roads and Infrastructure;
- Regional economic development study, building on (and
filling any cross-provincial gaps in) existing R&D plans for
Helmand, Kandahar and Oruzgan. Likely to be a principle
driver for future CERPs, and possibly USAID, expenditure. UK
PRT already working closely with this project, and already
provided the staff to define its TORs.
- Intelligence: HQ ISAF CJ2 (U.S. Brig. Carr) and Hd of
U.S.-DIA Afghanistan, visiting LGK on 19/20 February to
discuss arrangements for developing shared U.S./UK
intelligence fusion/analysis and targeting.