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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
10DHAKA71 2010-01-21 06:33:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Dhaka
Cable title:  

PACIFIC COMMAND SUPPORT FOR BANGLADESH SHOWCASED

Tags:   PREL PINS EAID PTER PHUM MASS MCAP SNAR BG 
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VZCZCXRO3719
PP RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHNEH RUEHPW
DE RUEHKA #0071/01 0210633
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 210633Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9922
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 2226
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON PRIORITY 2983
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDRUSARPAC FT SHAFTER HI PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC PRIORITY
RHHMHAA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI PRIORITY
RHHMUNS/COMSOCPAC HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKDIA/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DHAKA 000071 

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA/FO, SCA/INSB, S/CT, AND PM

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/19/2025
TAGS: PREL PINS EAID PTER PHUM MASS MCAP SNAR BG
SUBJECT: PACIFIC COMMAND SUPPORT FOR BANGLADESH SHOWCASED
FOR SENATE ARMED SERVICES STAFFERS

Classified By: Ambassador James F. Moriarty. Reasons 1.4 (B) and (D)

Summary
-------



1. (C) A January 12-13 visit to Bangladesh by Professional
Staff Members from the Senate Armed Services Committee
highlighted the integration of U.S. Pacific Command programs
with U.S. Mission Dhaka's efforts to support development,
deny space to terrorists and extremists, and enhance
democracy. The StaffDel visited multipurpose cyclone
shelters funded by PACOM that will protect rural populations
during natural disasters and serve as schools and community
centers during other times. The StaffDel also traveled to
Bangladesh's Naval Special Warfare and Diving Salvage unit,
through which Mission Dhaka and PACOM are supporting
Bangladesh's efforts to secure better its long maritime
border. Mission Dhaka also briefed the StaffDel on USG
efforts to improve the human rights record of Bangladesh's
main counter-terrorism force, the Rapid Action Battalion
(RAB).

StaffDel Visits Cyclone Shelters


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





2. (SBU) Michael Noblet, Michael Kostiw, and Adam Barker,
Professional Staff Members for the Senate Armed Services
Committee visited the sites of two Multipurpose Cyclone
Shelters (MPCSs), part of a Civil-Military Support Element
(CMSE) project near Khulna, in southwest Bangladesh.
Approximately 20 community leaders and 200 schoolchildren met
with the delegation as they toured the shelters. The local
community utilizes the shelters visited primarily as Schools
and during disasters each shelter will protect 1,200 people.
The CMSE project will build 23 shelters in southern
Bangladesh, which is particularly vulnerable to cyclones.
The Civil-Military Support Element developed its shelter
program in tandem with USAID, which is also working to
strengthen Bangladesh's cyclone shelter network. Cyclone
shelters are a key instrument in Bangladesh's toolkit for
managing the natural disasters that regularly hit this
country. In 2007, Cyclone Sidr ravished the Khulna region of
Bangladesh, killing 4,000 people and displacing millions
more.

StaffDel Meets with SWADS


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





3. (C) StaffDel Noblet also toured the training facilities
of Bangladesh's Special Warfare and Diving Salvage unit
(SWADS) at Chittagong Naval Base, in southeastern Banglash.
The SWADS Commander and Chittagong Naval Base Commodore
discussed the SWADS' progress and USG support for
strengthening Bangladesh's ability to protect its large
coastline, which is vulnerable to terrorist and criminal
smuggling. The SWADS Commander outlined a timetable for
staffing and training the unit, equipment needs, and future
roles for the SWADS. SWADS officers briefed StaffDel Noblet
on the 100-acre facility the Bangladesh Navy will build for
the SWADS, which will include barracks, maintenance
facilities, training ranges, equipment storerooms, and
offices. The SWADS Commander, Commodore, and Bangladesh
Naval officers who briefed the delegation highlighted the
important role U.S. assistance has had in establishing the
SWADS and enhancing the Bangladesh Navy's overall
capabilities to improve maritime security.

Moving Forward with the RAB


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





4. (C) Mission Dhaka briefed StaffDel Noblet on efforts to
engage the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Bangladesh's primary
counterterrorism unit. EmbOffs focused on USG efforts to
improve the RAB's human rights record and the commitment of
RAB's leadership to making progress in this area. Mr. Noblet
said he understood that Bangladesh's Police Act, written in
1861, did little to protect the rights of the community; he

DHAKA 00000071 002 OF 002


agreed that legal and judicial reform was an important
element in addressing human rights issues within the RAB and
other Bangladesh law enforcement agencies. The Mission
briefed the StaffDel on the high-level, inter-agency effort
in Washington and Dhaka to shape USG policy towards the RAB
and implement activities to bring about meaningful change
within the RAB.

Comment


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





5. (C) Mission Dhaka highlighted for StaffDel Noblet the
vital contributions made by Pacific Command, particularly the
PACOM Augmentation Team (PAT), to the key USG objectives in
Bangladesh: enhancing democracy, promoting development, and
denying space to terrorists and extremists. Programs like
the cyclone shelters improve Bangladesh's ability to respond
to disasters, which will likely increase as Bangladesh copes
with global climate change. The Special Warfare and Diving
Unit will deter terrorists and criminals from using
Bangladesh as a platform to target interests in South Asia
and beyond. Mission Dhaka also showcased the tight
integration of PACOM programs into Mission activities more
broadly. PACOM's resources, agility and flexibility have
greatly enhanced the USG's ability to advance its goals in
Bangladesh, particularly during times of crisis.
MORIARTY