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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09LONDON222 2009-01-26 16:19:00 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy London
Cable title:  

AFGHANISTAN: FCO AFGHANISTAN DIRECTOR SAYS FS

Tags:   PREL PGOV MARR AF UK 
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O 261619Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1178
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 2797
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 3808
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L LONDON 000222 

NOFORN
SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/A, EUR/WE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/26/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR AF UK
SUBJECT: AFGHANISTAN: FCO AFGHANISTAN DIRECTOR SAYS FS
MILIBAND OPEN TO DISCUSION ON CONTROL OF HELMAND EFFORTS;
HMG SEEKS HIGH LEVEL CONSULTATIONS IN RUN-UP TO NATO SUMMIT

Classified By: Political Minister Counselor Greg Berry for reasons 1.4
(b) and (d)

KABUL POL-MIL MEETING
---------------------



1. (C) The UK is looking forward to hearing details about
the new U.S. Administration's plans for military and civilian
efforts in Afghanistan, and sees the weeks remaining before
the April 3 NATO summit as critical to coordinating ISAF
strategy, particularly in RC-South. FCO Afghanistan Office
Director Matthew Lodge said the next step would be a pol-mil
meeting on the south, to take place February 12 in Kabul and
which will be coordinated by ISAF Commander General
McKiernan's staff. Attendees are to include key players in
pol-mil/civ-mil efforts in RC-S, including PRT officials.
The FCO will also be represented by South Asia Director Adam
Thomson.



2. (C/NF) Lodge noted that the UK's goal is to come out of
the meeting with an effective command and control strategy,
comprehensive plans for capitalizing on the capabilities
represented by the increase in U.S. military personnel, and
discussions on McKiernan's goals for the south, i.e. the
possible utilization of RC-E structures, such as more
military control over PRTs, in the south, and proposals for
coordinating British civilian elements in Helmand within what
could become zones where security was provided by the U.S.
military. Lodge said that FS Miliband was open to new
constructs; HMG should not be tied to British "ownership" of
particular districts or provinces at the expense of overall
mission success. Lodge underlined that MOD principals might
not share Miliband's views, and that the domestic political
ramifications to PM Brown's Labour government of any
perceived transfer of control in the south would also have to
be carefully considered.

U.S.-UK BILAT/RC-S MEETING/RUSSIAN SPONSORED MEETING


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



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





3. (C/NF) Lodge said that he, and possibly Thomson, plan to
visit Washington in early March for bilateral talks with
State/NSC/DOD, and possibly special envoy Holbrooke's office
if appropriate. HMG also plans to host a high level RC-S
meeting the week of March 16, details of which are still
under discussion. Lodge noted that Russia was planning on
hosting an Afghanistan conference in Moscow on March 25, and
would be inviting all regional players, including members of
the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, NATO, OSCE, Iran and
Pakistan. The UK has not finalized a position on the Russian
proposal. Finally, Italy is planning a post-NATO Summit
meeting for G-8 Foreign Ministers June 26 in Rome, to focus
on border management, CN and trafficking.

NATO SUMMIT - ISAF Session


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





4. (C/NF) According to Lodge, France has offered to host an
ISAF Defense Ministers meeting in either Paris or Brussels in
advance of the NATO Summit. The UK's view is that an ISAF
Heads of State meeting during the Summit would be more
effective for extracting resources and burdensharing, as well
as for forging a common statement among coalition members.

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