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09MOSCOW1469 2009-06-04 13:40:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow
Cable title:  

CSTO RAPID REACTION FORCE BECOMING A REALITY

Tags:   PREL PGOV PINS PINR MCAP MARR RS 
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RR RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHLN RUEHPOD RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #1469/01 1551340
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 041340Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3636
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
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					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 001469 

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINS PINR MCAP MARR RS

SUBJECT: CSTO RAPID REACTION FORCE BECOMING A REALITY

REF: Moscow 281



1. (SBU) Summary: Leaders of the Collective Security Treaty
Organization (CSTO) will gather in Moscow on June 14 to create a
Moscow-based CSTO rapid reaction force (KSOR). MFA officials and
experts agree that Russia's principal motivation for creating KSOR
is to counter a possible northern influx of terrorists across
Russia's porous southern border should the U.S. be defeated in or
prematurely withdraw from Afghanistan. They contend CSTO partners
support creating KSOR with the understanding that Russia will not
only be responsible for the majority of materiel and expenditures,
but also provide the diplomatic support should international
opposition to KSOR arise. While KSOR represents an assertion of
Russia's influence in Central Asia, Russian MFA officials are quick
to clarify that KSOR poses no threat to NATO or U.S. interests. In
practice, significant political-military hurdles constrain the
force's consolidation. End Summary.


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The CSTO Rapid Reaction Force (KSOR)


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





2. (SBU) Leaders of CSTO member states will meet in Moscow on June
14 to officially create a CSTO collective rapid reaction force
(KSOR) (reftel). The agreements to be signed will include the
creation of KSOR, the creation of a Moscow-based multi-national
force command (details of its structure and decision-making process
are still being discussed), and details on where KSOR troops will
come from, how they will be deployed, and what weapons they will
use.



3. (SBU) CSTO SYG Nikolay Bordyuzha stated that KSOR will include
10,000-20,000 elite, rapidly-deployable soldiers. The core of KSOR
will be based on the already existing CSTO Collective Rapid
Deployment Forces (KSBR). Unlike this ad-hoc arrangement, the
larger KSOR will be a standing force with a permanent command
structure. To be able to act effectively on an inter-operable
basis, it is expected that the military units put forth by CSTO
member countries for KSOR have compatible armaments, technology and
means of communication.



4. (SBU) Russia is shouldering the bulk of military materiel and
political capital needed for creating KSOR. KSOR will be largely
composed of Russian troops: Russia intends to contribute an
airborne division and a land assault brigade (approx. 8,000
soldiers). Kazakhstan plans to contribute a land assault brigade
(approx. 4,000 soldiers), while the remaining CSTO states plan to
limit their contributions to the battalion-level. Local press argue
that CSTO partners support Russia's creation of KSOR with the
understanding that Russia will both be responsible for the military
materiel and expenditures for KSOR and provide the diplomatic
support should international opposition to KSOR arise.



5. (SBU) A permanent KSOR command structure will be based in Moscow.
The day-to-day decisions of KSOR's development and coordination
will fall to CSTO's joint staff. Deploying KSOR troops will require
a consensus-based decision among the leaders of CSTO Members, and
will require a resolution from the CSTO's Collective Security
Council (SKB). Russian experts speculate, however, that KSOR's
consensus-based decision-making process may render KSOR ineffective
in the face of crises. The Commander of a KSOR operation will be
chosen on a case by case basis, and will most likely come from the
country in which the operation is carried out, as it is expected
that the Commander will be more familiar with the country and crisis
context. Some states had to pass laws to allow the armed troops of
other CSTO member states onto their soil.



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


Preparing for U.S. Failure in Afghanistan


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





6. (SBU) MFA officials argue that Russia's principal motivation for
creating KSOR is countering terrorism and extremism in Central Asia.
They said Russia needs to be prepared to stop a potential northern
influx of terrorists and extremists from Afghanistan in case the
U.S. withdraws prematurely. Experts added that the GOR fears that
U.S. failure in Afghanistan could spread instability to Central
Asia's corrupt, authoritarian regimes. This could cause an influx
of refugees and terrorists across Russia's porous southern border.



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


KSOR: A Russian-Led Endeavor


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





7. (SBU) According to some local press, Moscow's objective with KSOR
is the creation of a Russia-centric military force comparable to

MOSCOW 00001469 002 OF 002


NATO. Russia envisions KSOR being able to cover all regions of
strategic interest to Russia by building off existing contingents,
where possible: a pentagonal group including Russia, Kazakhstan,
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan covering Central Asia; an
existing Russian-Belarusian joint military contingent within the
CSTO framework that covers Europe; and an existing Russian-Armenian
joint contingent within the CSTO framework that covers the
Trans-Caucasus.



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


With Central Asian Caveats


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





8. (SBU) While official Russian announcements imply that momentum is
building behind KSOR, the lack of Central Asian enthusiasm for the
project is evident. Uzbekistan reiterated on June 4 that it will
participate in KSOR operations on an ad hoc basis and further
stipulated that Uzbekistan does not accept the KSOR provision
requiring that all special services, including emergency services,
be part of KSOR.





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


Comment


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





9. (SBU) CSTO consultations on the creation of KSOR began long ago;
though penning its creation will give it political impetus, in
practice, KSOR is a long-term project that could still prove
still-born. It remains to be seen how the archaic, bureaucratic and
corrupt militaries of CSTO states will coalesce to create KSOR.



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


Biographic Note


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





10. (SBU) The CSTO Secretary General is Nikolay Nikolayevich
Bordyuzha, a former Russian Colonel General. Born in 1949 in Oryol
(south-western Russia), Bordyuzha graduated from the Perm Military
School of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces in 1972. Between 1989
and 1991 he attended KGB intelligence courses in Novosibirsk and was
head of KGB human resources. Bordyuzha later served as First Deputy
Chief and later Chief of Russia's Federal Border-Guard Service
(1992-1998). In 1998 he was appointed Secretary of the Russian
Security Council and also Chief of the Russian presidential
administration. During this time he was considered by some analysts
as a possible successor to former President Boris Yeltsin. In 1999
he was appointed Russian Ambassador to Denmark. In April 2003
Bordyuzha was appointed Secretary General of the CSTO.

BEYRLE