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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09OSLO220 2009-04-01 09:39:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Oslo
Cable title:  

NORWAY SUPPORTIVE OF AFGHAN POLICY IN PRINCIPLE,

Tags:   PREL NATO MARR MOPS AF NO 
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1. (C) SUMMARY: Norway's special envoy for Afghanistan, Janis
Kanavin, welcomed the conclusions of the U.S. Afghanistan
Pakistan Strategic Review and stated that Norway was in broad
agreement with the U.S. approach, particularly the need for
increased civilian assistance and the implementation of the
regional approach. The GON is currently considering what
contributions they will announce at the NATO Summit and will
not make the final decision until shortly before the Summit
begins. However, it appears that the GON is unable or
unwilling to meet the majority of the specific requests
listed in reftel B. Funding for the ANA Trust Fund, LOTFA
and ARTF appears to be the most promising area for Norway to
contribute. END SUMMARY

GON Likes the Ideas....


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




2. (C) The concepts of intensifying civilian efforts to build
capacities in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the linking of
Pakistan and Afghanistan are music to the Norwegian MFA's
ears. The MFA itself created a joint Afghanistan/Pakistan
section in the fall of 2008 and has long preached the need
for increases in civilian aid and support for the UN. The GON
has committed itself to significant military and civilian
contributions in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future, with
a relative parity in money spent on military and civilian
assistance. In many ways the GON views the "comprehensive
approach" as their own creation, and is committed to
supporting Kai Eide's efforts to strengthen the civilian and
UN aspects of the international effort in Afghanistan as well
as continuing their military contribution.

...but Contributions are Limited


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




3. (C) Despite their strong support for the conclusions of
the U.S. Strategic Review, the GON will likely not announce
any substantial increase in their contributions at the NATO
Summit. Specifics on the GON decisions were not yet
available, as the GON political leadership will not decide
until right before the Summit. However, reviewing the list of
Norway specific requests in reftel B with the MFA and
Ministry of Defense revealed the limitations (real and
self-imposed) that the GON has in responding.



4. (C) On the military side, Norway has an OMLT team deployed
in Afghanistan that is committed until October 2010. They do
not have the staffing resources to consider another Norwegian
OMLT but are considering a Nordic OMLT. Discussions on the
latter are only at the initial stage. Norwegian Special
Forces are currently training elements of the Afghan police
and the MOD would like to continue this training. Norway's
one new C-130J (delivered to the Norwegian Air Force in the
fall of 2008) is currently unavailable for deployment due to
damage suffered in a training exercise. It is expected that
Norway will take delivery of additional aircraft in early
summer 2009 and again in the summer of 2010 and begin
training. After that, this request might become viable.



5. (C) On the civilian side the GON is actively considering
contributions to the ANA Trust Fund, the LOTFA and the ARTF.
The GON already contributes approximately 17 million dollars
to the ARTF and has donated to the LOTFA last year. Police
mentoring teams are also being considered, as is the NTM-A
proposal. The GON hesitation on NTM-A arises from concern
that development of the Afghan police be balanced with
military and civilian aspects. The MFA was intrigued by the
request for customs infrastructure at borders and promised to
consider it.



6. (C) Other items are more problematic. The request for
increases in PRT's support for governance and development is
directly counter to the GON's strongly held policy of
separating all civilian and military activities and would not
be acceptable to the GON. Similarly, the requests for
technical experts in natural gas development and for
contributions to power projects run counter to the GON's
existing civilian aid priorities, which are good governance,
education and rural development. The GON did not reject the

OSLO 00000220 002 OF 002


request but stated that given the large amounts necessary for
infrastructure projects they preferred to use their money on
smaller projects.

Comment


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




7. (C) Although the GON may not be able or willing to
contribute at present with much more than money, it is quite
useful to pressure them to consider the list of requests,
particularly an additional OMLT, military police training,
and civilian and technical experts in natural gas and power
projects. The capability is there for these items, but it
will require political will to alter existing priorities.
Sustained pressure from the Government of Afghanistan, NATO
and the U.S. has been effective in the past in pushing a
reluctant GON to change policy priorities.

WHITNEY