Viewing cable 05AMMAN5728

05AMMAN57282005-07-19 06:54:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Amman
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L AMMAN 005728 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/19/2015 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires David Hale according to Section 1.4 (b 
 and d) 
¶1. (C) Summary: Senator Levin met King Abdullah on July 7 to 
discuss key issues in the region, most notably the Iraq 
reconstruction process. The King commented on the ongoing 
insurgency, and identified steps to end it, including a more 
inclusive political process and poverty alleviation. The King 
also spoke about U.S. efforts to encourage reform in Syria, 
expressing some doubt that any real progress had been made. 
Also attending the meeting were Charge d'Affaires David Hale, 
U.S. Senate staff memebers Richard Debobes and Daniel Cox, 
Jordanian Foreign Minister Farouq Qasrawi, and Royal Court 
Policy Coordination Director Abdullah Wraikat. End Summary. 
¶2. (C) The King was frank when asked for his assessment of 
the insurgency in Iraq. He said that he saw no sign of a 
respite from the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq. The King 
estimated that they numbered in the "hundreds" not 
"thousands", which in his mind is sufficient to provide an 
ample reserve of suicide bombers. Additionally, the King 
feared that Iraqis were now taking a larger role in the 
insurgency, replacing the foreigners. The King noted 
indigenous extremist forces would be much more difficult to 
defeat than foreign fighters. 
¶3. (C) When asked, the King offered his recommendations to 
Senator Levin on how best to defeat the insurgency. Foremost 
among these was political inclusion. Positive progress in 
drafting a constitution with the participation of credible 
Sunni representatives was critical, according to the King. If 
Sunni leadership was brought into the political process, it 
would have an incentive and a responsibility to fight against 
the insurgency. If the December 2005 elections are inclusive, 
he noted, Iraq will have turned a new page. If they are not, 
and the Sunnis continue to feel isolated, they will be pushed 
toward the extreme. 
¶4. (C) The King said that not enough was being done to 
address poverty in Iraq. At this point, he said, you could 
get an Iraqi to "do anything" for a few hundred dollars. 
Alleviating this suffering would help pull some of the 
disenfranchised elements of society back into the mainstream. 
On other fronts, the King was more positive. He stated that 
continued Sunni outreach was a necessary step. He stressed 
the importance of adequately equipping and training Iraqi 
police and security elements, and he assessed that military 
training had proven more successful than police training, 
noting that it was a difficult task to balance quality 
training with the need for quick turnover. When asked, the 
King said that he could only venture a guess of 50/50 odds 
that the insurgency would end in the foreseeable future. He 
agreed with Senator Levin that there needs to be an effort to 
convince skeptics that the U.S. will stand down once Iraqi 
security forces are able to stand up on their own. Again when 
asked, he agreed that an Iraqi National Assembly endorsement 
of the U.S. presence in Iraq might be helpful, but only if 
embraced by all factions. He also agreed that additional 
international involvement with coalition forces would be 
desirable, but cautioned that not all nationalities would be 
welcome. Specifically with regard to the involvement of 
Muslim states, the King said that participants, possibly as 
part of a UN action, would have to be drawn from regions 
distant from Iraq, such as Indonesia or Morocco, to avoid the 
perception that Iraq's Muslim neighbors were participating 
solely to advance their own agendas. 
¶5. (C) Asked by the Senator for his thoughts on developments 
in Syria, the King remarked that Syrian behavior on key 
issues, such as their support for Hizballah and the 
exfiltration of terrorists across their borders, had not 
changed significantly. They Syrian strategy has been to offer 
just enough concessions to appease the international 
community and obtain relief from U.S. pressure, but not to 
make any real strategic policy changes. 
¶6. (U) Senator Levin did not have an opportunity to clear 
this message.