Viewing cable 05VILNIUS103

05VILNIUS1032005-01-28 14:32:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
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 SECTION 01 OF 04 VILNIUS 000103 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/27/2014 
     ¶B. VILNIUS 13 
     ¶C. VILNIUS 5 
¶1. (C) Summary.  In order to build upon our diplomatic 
success securing Lithuanian leadership of a Provincial 
Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Afghanistan, the USG should now 
move quickly to formalize plans to provide tangible 
deliverables to the GOL.  Lithuania is urgently seeking 
Washington commitments to provide strategic airlift 
(including for a mid-February reconnaissance mission to the 
region), special equipment and ammunition, supplemental 
funding, development experts and funds, pre-deployment 
training in information operations and civil-military 
cooperation, and intelligence support.  We strongly encourage 
allocating significant funding from planned new coalition 
support funds to cover the up to USD 10 million cost of 
start-up, sustainment and anticipated equipment needs for the 
PRT.  The GOL has requested USG assistance in approaching 
third countries for contributions to the PRT.  On location, 
senior Lithuanian officials have stressed their strong 
preference for assuming the PRT mission in Badghis, fearing 
deployment to the alternate Chagcharan would stretch their 
modest resources to the breaking point.  This small, staunch 
ally deserves our support for once again responding to our 
call for action.  We should move quickly and decisively to 
help them help us.  End Summary. 
¶2. (C) Senior leaders at the MFA and MOD have recently 
reconfirmed to the Ambassador Lithuania's intention to 
contribute to the effort to expand the International Security 
Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan (ref A and B). 
Interlocutors underscore, however, that the government will 
need considerable assistance to make good its conditional 
offer to establish a PRT.  For its part, the GOL has 
allocated 12 million Litas (USD 4.62 million) from the 
Ministry of Defense budget to cover the salaries and expenses 
of 70 troops to deploy to Afghanistan in support of a PRT. 
Although precise assistance requirements will have to wait 
until parties determine the location and mission of the 
Lithuanian-led PRT, the GOL has preliminarily identified 
certain technical, financial, and diplomatic support needs 
the USG might undertake to fill. 
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Lithuania's PRT Locale:  Badghis or Chaghcharan? 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
¶3. (C) The MFA has underscored that Lithuania premised its 
political decision to establish and lead a PRT in Afghanistan 
on the assumption that it would be in Badghis.  This 
assumption also informed GOL estimates of the set-up and 
sustainment costs of the PRT (costing roughly up to USD 10 
million).  The advantages of the province's size and 
proximity to the Italian Forward Support Base in Herat 
weighed heavily into the GOL's decision.  Badghis simply 
appears a good fit for Lithuania's available resources and 
¶4. (C) Responding to NATO's recent encouragement to locate 
the PRT in the larger, more remote, mountainous province of 
Chaghcaharan, MFA Undersecretary Dalius Cekuolis told 
Ambassador Mull that the GOL had serious reservations about 
its ability to lead a mission "on the far side of the moon." 
Director of the MFA's Security Policy Department Kestutis 
Jankauskas noted that Lithuania has not entirely ruled out 
the option, but will need to reevaluate the situation, if 
NATO resolves that Lithuania should set up in Chaghcharan. 
Jankauskas observed that, given the greater size and greater 
logistical challenges involved in establishing a PRT in 
Chaghcharan, however, would expect significantly more USG and 
NATO assistance (including human resources) to establish and 
sustain the mission there. 
Key Assistance Requirements 
¶5. (C) Following consultations at the highest levels with 
Lithuania's MFA and MOD, we have identified several 
significant areas of assistance which will require NATO and 
USG diplomatic, development, defense and intelligence agency 
¶A. February Reconnaissance Visit to Afghanistan 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
Most pressing is USG support, including airlift and security 
assistance, for a GOL reconnaissance mission to the region 
during the second half of February.  The GOL plans for a team 
of ten specialists to travel to Afghanistan's Herat, Badghis 
and possibly Chaghcharan provinces in mid-February.  The 
visit will allow Lithuania to expand the knowledge they 
gained during a U.K.-sponsored trip to western Afghanistan in 
early January, to better develop their plans for the PRT and 
clarify their assistance needs. 
¶B. Strategic Lift 
Lithuania possesses no national strategic lift assets. 
Lithuania's deployment would require Secretary of Defense 
approval for EUCOM or CENTCOM lift assets to provide 
transport not only to the theater from Lithuania's Zokniai 
airfield, but also tactical lift within Afghanistan, 
predictably between the PRT, Kabul, and Herat.  In addition 
to the February mission, strategic lift assets will need to 
transport personal equipment and transportation assets for up 
to 70 personnel. 
¶C. Pre-Deployment Training Package 
Lithuania seeks a robust pre-deployment training package in 
information operations (PSYOPS and HUMINT) and civil-military 
cooperation (CIMIC).  While the GOL may be able to look 
within, to its SOF forces, for general information about the 
theater, Lithuania will need to augment its rudimentary 
internal capabilities with training from EUCOM, CENTCOM, 
AFSOC, and the U.S. intelligence community.  Lithuanian 
planners are hungry for tactical intelligence, and briefings 
by DOD mobile training teams or the USG intelligence 
community would be extremely useful in assisting Lithuania's 
planning.  Clearly a priority for the GOL, Lithuania has 
already approached SHAPE and the U.K. for training support. 
¶D. Equipment 
Lithuania needs the equipment necessary to complete its 
mission.  We understand that two requests (one for night 
vision devices (NVDs), the other for PRC-117 radios and 
Communication Security Devices) have stalled in the approval 
pipeline.  In light of EUCOM's endorsement of Lithuania's 
request for the radios and in order to avoid a two-tiered 
NATO that denial of the NVDs might create (ref C), we would 
appreciate NSA and OSD's expeditious and favorable resolution 
of these issues.  Denying Lithuania this equipment will limit 
the effectiveness of its deployment, restrict the 
interoperability of Lithuanian forces with other NATO allies 
in theater.  It would also discount Lithuania's stellar track 
record of controlling its stock of sensitive USG provided 
MOD have compiled the following preliminary list of necessary 
equipment: eight high mobility military jeeps, two armored 
transporters, one tactical ambulance, a 180 kw electric power 
station, one set of water supply equipment, two freezer 
containers, one set of kitchen equipment (kitchen and 
canteen), and one set of security equipment (video cameras, 
sensors, etc.).  Though the MOD will likely be able to 
reallocate much of this equipment from its own stores, the 
USG or NATO will need to provide lift assets to transport the 
material to Afghanistan and assistance to acquire material in 
theater.  (Note:  This list presumes delivery of 24 HMMWV's, 
including three tactical HMMWV ambulances through the FMF 
program in mid-February.  End note.) 
¶E.  State Department or USAID Development Assistance 
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In order to address a serious concern and shortcoming within 
the GOL's own capabilities, SA/A will need to authorize 
placing a USAID and/or State Department employee with access 
to USAID development funds at the Lithuanian-led PRT.  The 
GOL will seek assurances that this USG representative will 
come without a predetermined development agenda, ready, 
instead, work with the PRT to respond to the priorities of 
the local government. 
¶F.  Supplemental Funds for Coalition Support 
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We want to register an early plea at the beginning of the 
budgeting process of the supplemental funds the President 
seeks to support Coalition partners in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
We request that White House and Department of Defense 
planners set aside up to USD 10 million (above lift costs) to 
cover anticipated set up, sustainment, and equipment needs 
for the Lithuanian-led PRT.  In order to expedite Lithuania's 
deployment, unlike FMF or IMET monies, the GOL should be able 
to spend these funds unconditionally on the mission. 
¶G. Intelligence Support 
Given the dearth of intelligence on the region available to 
GOL planners, Joint Staff and the intelligence community will 
need to provide the PRT with technical support such as 
geospatial imagery, geothermal imagery and local contracting 
information.  The DOD or intelligence community will need to 
share the findings of any land survey teams in the PRT site. 
¶H. Diplomatic Support 
The GOL has requested USG diplomatic support in approaching 
third countries for contributions to the PRT mission. 
Lithuania, in addition to approaching the U.K. for 
pre-deployment training, has begun discussions with Denmark 
about troop support.  One scenario they are entertaining 
would have Lithuania consolidate its personnel in Iraq, 
moving the 49 troops currently under Polish command to the 
Danish contingent in Basrah, thereby freeing the Danes to 
send 49 troops to the PRT.  (Note: Lithuania might 
subsequently increase its cooperation with Polish forces in 
Kosovo. End note.)  In addition to reaching out to the U.K. 
and Denmark, we recommend launching U.S. diplomatic overtures 
to Lithuania's Nordic-Baltic neighbors, and perhaps more 
widely within the NATO alliance, for manpower and material 
support.  (Note:  By law, Lithuania may have no more than 70 
personnel in the Afghanistan region). 
Lithuania may also seek USG assistance in helping it 
re-establish diplomatic relations with Afghanistan. 
Lithuania notified the Government of Afghanistan by a 
diplomatic note dated November 25, 2004 that it sought to 
re-establish diplomatic relations pursuant to the original 
1930 bilateral agreement.  Lithuania suggested an exchange of 
notes acknowledging this agreement and renewing relations 
through the GOA's diplomatic representatives in Warsaw.  The 
GOA has not yet replied to this overture. 
¶6. (C) Responding to NATO and USG encouragement, Lithuania 
has once again stepped to the front of the line to offer 
enormous assistance to meet strategic and political goals far 
from home.  They can only do so, however, within the limits 
of their scant resources.  Having provided the GOL assurances 
of USG diplomatic assistance and contributions to airlift and 
development assistance prior to the announcement of their 
decision to lead the PRT, we should now move quickly to 
formalize plans.   We understand that for political reasons, 
among others, the GOL would like to have boots on the ground 
in Badghis by September.  (Note: The parliamentary 
authorization for deployments to Afghanistan expires at 
yearend.)  It is likely that the degree to which a 
Lithuanian-led PRT is successful will depend as much upon USG 
and NATO responsiveness as Lithuanian leadership.