|09STOCKHOLM440||2009-07-20 10:26:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Stockholm|
1. (C) Swedish officials are working to double Sweden's
contribution to the EUPOL policing mission in Afghanistan to
20 personnel by the end of the year. Nils Daag, Swedish MFA
Director for Security Policy, told visiting DASD James
Townsend on July 17 that more and more, Swedes understand
that "what happens there affects us here," so there is strong
support within the government for the EUPOL mission. Daag's
deputy Carl Magnus Eriksson told Pol Counselor earlier that
the Swedish MFA and MOJ agreed to increase the number of
Swedish police in the mission from 6 to 10 (with the number
six already representing a doubling over the late spring,
when there were still only three Swedish police in EUPOL).
In addition, additional civilian experts will be sent for a
total of ten, including lawyers and rule of law experts, by
the end of the year. Eriksson was not sure, however, how far
along the police were in the latest recruiting process, so
these target numbers have not yet been made public.
2. (C) Sweden continues to demonstrate a long-term commitment
to Afghanistan. It is strengthening its military presence by
increasing the number of Swedish troops under ISAF command
from 375 last year to roughly 450 now, and going to 500 by
the end of the year. In addition, since May 15, a Swedish
Air Force C-130 has been operating under ISAF HQ command.
Swedish development aid has risen to some $63 million
annually for each of the next three years, to be channeled to
projects in democracy building, human rights, women's rights,
and education. Of this aid, 25% will be programmed for work
in northern Afghanistan where the Swedish-led PRT is located.
"We had forgotten about the 'R' in "PRT," Daag told
3. (C) Comment: Swedish Minister of Defense Sten Tolgfors is
visiting Washington July 20. Thanking him for Sweden's
expanding commitment in Afghanistan would help him and others
in the government who support ongoing deployments. Moreover,
Washington interlocutors may wish to urge that Sweden, as
President of the EU during the next six months, lead EU
efforts to staff fully the EUPOL mission. End Comment.