Viewing cable 05BRUSSELS838

05BRUSSELS8382005-03-02 09:24:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Brussels
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/28/2015 
REF: A. BRUSSELS 04 4686 B. BRUSSELS 04 4937 C. 
     BRUSSELS 04 5308 
Classified By: USEU Political Military Officer, 
Jeremy Brenner,for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
¶1. (C) Summary:  Ambassador Carlos Pascual, Coordinator of 
S/CRS, held a two-day series of meetings with EU officials 
in the Council and the Commission to explore areas for 
cooperative efforts on crisis response. In the meetings, 
Ambassador Pascual explained the mandate and structure of 
his office and emphasized the US desire to work 
multilaterally on effective crisis response.  The reception 
was enthusiastic, with Javier Solana and others urging 
establishment of concrete initiatives for U.S.- EU 
coordination and cooperation on stabilization and 
reconstruction issues. Some of the areas under 
consideration include early warning, exchange visits, 
gaming exercises, development of crisis-response 
capabilities, and policy coordination on conflict 
prevention.  Several EU interlocutors suggested that a 
joint action plan in this area could be the focus of a 
joint declaration for the June U.S.- EU Summit.  The EU's 
crisis response mechanisms are evolving quickly, with a 
growing capability to deploy limited numbers of rule of law 
trainers, civil administrators, and police trainers. 
Delineation of responsibilities between the Council and the 
Commission will remain a constraint on EU capabilities for 
some time, as will the requirement for consensus 
decision-making.  End summary. 
Early Warning 
¶2. (C) Ambassador Carlos Pascual, Coordinator of the Office 
of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization 
held a series of meetings with EU officials February 16-18 
designed to explore areas for cooperation on crisis 
response. He was joined in a number of his sessions by 
Acting National Intelligence Council Chairman, David 
Gordon.  In a meeting with EU Council Policy Planning 
Director Christoph Heusgen and regional experts, Ambassador 
Pascual explained that the purpose of his visit was to give 
substance to the shared US-EU commitment to strengthen 
coordination on crisis response and stabilization.  One of 
the initiatives he hoped could emerge from the meetings was 
a enhanced coordination on watch lists of countries at risk 
of conflict or instability. 
Identifying Risk Factors 
¶3. (C) Heusgen emphasized the need to move from early 
warning to early action in order to prevent conflict and 
coordinate crisis and post-conflict responses.  He 
explained that the EU Political and Security Committee 
(PSC) agrees on a watch list of emerging or existing crises 
every six months.  The list is circulated to the member 
states, which have a much greater capacity for explicit 
country and regional analysis than the EU institutions. 
National external services contribute to the creation of 
the list. The EU watch list is based on pre-identified key 
risk factors, and a checklist, which focuses on root causes 
of instability. These factors include: legitimacy of the 
government, humanitarian conditions, economic factors, rule 
of law, and regional stability. The watch list focuses on 
early warning versus existing peacekeeping operations and 
is "depoliticized" until it reaches the PSC.  The countries 
at risk are not identified in any priority order. As the EU 
structures develop, the list may become the basis for 
contingency planning within the EU Military Staff and the 
civilian-military planning cell now taking shape within the 
Council General Secretariat. 
Making a Policy Impact 
¶4. (C) Acting NIC Chairman Gordon gave an overview of the 
methodology used in creating the US list, noting that the 
NIC tries to identify not only the risk factors, but also 
the immediacy of the risk and potential triggers for 
crisis.  The US watch list is designed to bring countries 
at risk to the attention of senior policymakers, and is 
aimed at having a policy impact.  As a practical example of 
concrete areas for cooperation, the US and EU experts 
shared their assessments of the risk factors and current 
conditions in Bolivia and the Great Lakes region of 
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Positive Reception from the Political and Security 
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¶5. (C) Ambassador Pascual and his delegation were then 
invited to an informal working lunch hosted by the 
Luxembourg Presidency to meet with the Ambassadors of the 
Political and Security Committee. Luxembourg Ambassador 
Paul Duhr termed the trip a "very important visit," and 
called for the US and the EU to share experiences and 
identify fields of cooperation prior to the US-EU Summit 
planned for later this year.  After an overview by 
Ambassador Pascual on the mandate and structure of S/CRS, 
the questions from the Ambassadors reflected an interest in 
concrete cooperation. There was broad agreement on the need 
for an integrated approach to crisis response, focusing on 
the need for civilian capabilities in areas such as 
democratization, building civil society, security sector 
reform (SSR), disarmament, demobilization and reintegration 
(DDR).  Ambassador Pascual pointed out the difficulty of 
reintegrating demobilized soldiers in countries - such as 
Afghanistan -- where the unemployment rate is above 50 
percent, and there are no economic prospects. Several 
questions focused on the civilian-military relationship and 
the chain of command for integrated operations.  The 
Italian Ambassador noted the need for Gendarmerie forces to 
bridge the security gap between the short-term military 
phase and the longer-term civilian stabilization and 
reconstruction programs, and asked if the US had plans to 
develop such a capacity.  Regional capacity-building, early 
warning, and contingency planning were all identified as 
priority areas for cooperative efforts. In this session, as 
in others, Ambassador Pascual urged that cooperative 
efforts be undertaken to meet a practical need, rather than 
simply as a "deliverable" for a summit. 
Solana Pull-Aside 
¶6. (C) At the conclusion of the lunch,  EU High 
Representative Javier Solana emerged from an adjacent 
meeting room and invited Ambassador Pascual to join him for 
a brief discussion.  Solana was direct in expressing his 
belief that conflict prevention and post-conflict response 
is an important area and fertile ground for U.S.- EU 
cooperation that can have a real and positive impact.  He 
asked Pascual to work closely with the Council Secretariat 
to develop a concrete and substantive initiative to  deepen 
joint EU-US efforts in conflict management and response. 
(Note: Solana has shown a considerable personal interest in 
Ambassador Pascual's visit, receiving a series of 
pre-briefs on possible areas for cooperation and planning 
for the visit. End note) 
Civilian Crisis Management 
¶7. (C) In a subsequent meeting with Pieter Feith, Deputy 
Director-General for European Security and Defense Policy 
within the Council Secretariat, Ambassador Pascual began to 
probe the structures and capacities of the EU in crisis 
management. As was clear in every session, the EU's crisis 
response mechanisms are evolving at a rapid pace.  There 
are, however, complicated institutional divisions between 
the Commission and the Council with respect to competencies 
and budgets.  The European Security and Defense Policy 
(ESDP) is reserved to the Council, and matters of defense 
policy require consensus agreement among the member 
states.  Crisis response is largely the competence of the 
Council, which has a very limited budget to fund missions, 
and therefore draws heavily from seconded member-state 
personnel to staff missions.  Other areas, such as 
humanitarian assistance are run by the Commission, using 
common funding mechanisms with varying voting rules.  As a 
result, integrated crisis response operations, drawing on 
military resources as well as humanitarian programs, will 
be complex.  The civilian-military planning cell within the 
Military Staff of the Council General Secretariat may try 
to bridge some of these issues by including Commission 
representatives in the planning. 
Deployable Resources 
¶8. (C) Feith explained that the civ-mil cell will be 
operational by April 1.  It is to consist of military and 
civilian planners, as well as a staff of "housekeepers" who 
would form the key staff of an operations center in the 
event it is activated.  As of January 2006, the cell is to 
have the capacity to stand up the operations center for use 
in the event that no National HQ is available to run an 
operation.  (See reftels for further details.)  Under the 
Civilian Headline Goal 2008 the EU member states have set 
for themselves, the EU will have deployable capabilities in 
police, rule of law, civil administration, civil 
protection, and monitoring.  These instruments could be 
deployed in support of an EU Special Representative or 
could be put at the disposal of the United Nations as part 
of a broader stabilization mission.  The operations center 
could be employed to run a purely civilian operation, or to 
support a national HQ in a military operation. (Note: The 
EU has already undertaken military stabilization, rule of 
law, police, and monitoring missions in several countries 
in addition to assuming command of the military PKO in 
Bosnia. A security sector reform mission to Kinshasa is now 
being deployed. End note.)  Feith and Ambassador Pascual 
agreed to reconvene for a working lunch in order to discuss 
specific and concrete areas for cooperation. 
EU Council/ Transatlantic Relations 
¶9. (C)  Ambassador Pascual subsequently met with Jim Cloos, 
Director for Transatlantic Relations and the United Nations 
in the Council Secretariat.  Cloos reiterated the desire to 
find areas for cooperation between the EU and the US in 
crisis response.  He pointed out that the EU is working 
with the UN on planning, training and exchanges of lessons 
learned.  He said that the EU missions in rule of law or 
civil administration are designed either as "strengthening" 
operations in countries where there are functioning but 
weak institutions, or as "substitution" missions in cases 
where the local structures are no longer functional. In 
strengthening operations, monitors or mentors are placed 
within the local structures to provide guidance or 
training. In substitution missions, EU civil administrators 
would ensure the issuance of critical documents or assure 
the preservation of vital records in cases where the local 
capacity had ceased to exist.  Cloos noted that the 
proposed Constitutional Treaty now under consideration by 
member states would create an EU external service, and 
would break down some of the barriers between the 
Commission and the Council. These steps would improve 
decision-making within the EU and increase its capacity for 
external action.  Cloos said that the EU structures - both 
Council and Commission -- are open to all proposals for 
cooperation or coordination in this field. 
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European Commission External Relations Directorate 
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¶10. (C)  In a later meeting, Lodewijk Briet, Director of 
the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) Directorate 
in the External Relations Directorate General of the 
European Commission, gave some additional details 
concerning the respective roles of the Commission and the 
Council in crisis management.  Briet  pointed out that the 
Commission and the Council do joint fact-finding, and that 
his directorate ensures Commission input into the ESDP 
planning process.  He observed that the Commission also has 
the authority to dispense funds - including development 
funds -- which the Council lacks.  He cited the example of 
a 300,000 Euro expenditure for ammunition for the Congolese 
police, which was made from the CFSP budget.  Ordinarily, 
the Commission is prohibited from spending funds on 
military operations, but in this case it was authorized by 
the Ministers of the Member States, being deemed a critical 
element in stabilization efforts.  Briet also pointed out 
that while EU Special Representatives report to Javier 
Solana, they are paid by the Commission and any expenses - 
such as an armored car are covered by CFSP funds. According 
to Briet, the CFSP budget -- currently 63 million Euros 
annually - will double during the period 2007-2013. 
Engaging the UN 
¶11. (C)  In a subsequent session, Giancarlo Chevallard, 
Deputy Director of the CFSP Directorate, cited a need for 
streamlining internal EU procedures in order to create a 
more effective crisis response capability.  He said that 
there was also a need to build capacity in new areas such 
as constitutional experts.  Chevallard put the EU's crisis 
management efforts into broader context, noting that there 
would be a series of meetings with UN Deputy Secretary 
General Frechette in a few days.  He said he welcomed 
proposals to reinforce and coordinate EU and US 
capabilities with the UN, and to make national capabilities 
available to the EU.  (Note: Under the EU's Concept of the 
Use of Force, a UN Security Council Resolution is a virtual 
pre-requisite for ESDP operations with a military 
component. End note). Ambassador Pascual called for the 
establishment of a strong and effective common agenda for 
concrete ideas for EU-US initiatives linked to national 
¶12. (C)  Lars-Erik Lundin, Head of the Security Policy Unit 
within the CFSP Directorate of the European Commission, 
told Ambassador Pascual his unit would detach officers to 
serve in the civ-mil planning cell once it is operational. 
In addition to representing the Commission in formulating 
security and defense policy, Lundin's office is focused on 
counter-terrorism and non-proliferation issues, as well as 
with civil protection and evacuation operations. 
Identification of victims also falls under his 
responsibility.  His office works closely with the EU's 
satellite imagery center in Torrejon, Spain, contributing 
to situational awareness of evolving crises.  Lundin's 
assessment of future ESDP operations was that the EU 
shouldn't plan to go anywhere "too difficult," and he cited 
a reluctance to go too far from the EU's neighborhood. 
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Making an Agenda for Concrete Follow-up 
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¶13. (C) In a working lunch session with Pieter Feith, 
agreement was reached to create a working agenda for 
follow-up.  Claude-France Arnould, Director of the Defense 
Aspects Directorate under Feith will travel to Washington 
March 21 for follow-up meetings with Ambassador Pascual and 
DoD and State officials.  Further preparatory sessions will 
be held via video-conference between policymakers and 
regional experts.  Areas under consideration for 
cooperation include early warning and response, joint 
efforts to build capacities (including gaming exercises, 
exchange visits, and cross training), conflict prevention 
policy coordination, and building international capacity. 
¶14. (C)  Ambassador Pascual's enthusiastic reception by the 
EU is a reflection of several factors.  They believe it 
recognizes the EU's nascent efforts to create a crisis 
management capability of its own, and indicates a growing 
U.S. recognition of the importance of "soft power" 
instruments in dealing with global instability.  They see 
the U.S. initiative embodied in S/CRS as a mechanism to 
build links with the US and to coordinate efforts in an 
area where we can make a concrete difference, as well as 
plant the seeds of an intelligence-sharing structure. 
¶15. (C)  Despite their desire for a bilateral relationship, 
the EU's actual abilities on the ground will be constrained 
by unresolved questions of institutional responsibility 
between the Commission and the Council. The scope of EU 
ambitions will also be limited by a resource limits, 
personnel, and political focus.  Operations requiring tough 
political decisions will also be constrained because EU 
crisis response operations will require -- for the 
foreseeable future - decision-making by consensus.  The EU 
will likely continue to face limited capacities, the need 
for a UN-mandate to legitimize their efforts, and fears of 
being "dragged" into open-ended commitments.  For these 
reasons, EU involvement in any serious stabilization 
operation is likely to be limited and concentrated on 
low-intensity conflicts, with NATO remaining indispensable 
for planning, logistics, and other support for more 
difficult tasks. 
¶16. (U) S/CRS has cleared this message.