C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000257
STATE FOR EUR/NB, EUR/RPM, EUR/PM
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/14/2014
TAGS: MOPS MCAP PREL PGOV LH AF
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA'S PRT IN CHAGCHARAN: FILLING THE RANKS
REF: A. VILNIUS 198
Â¶B. VILNIUS 103
Classified By: Pol/Econ Officer Nancy Cohen for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
Â¶1. (C) This cable contains an action request. Please see
Â¶2. (C) Summary. Kestutis Jankauskas, Director of the MFA's
Security Policy Department, said the GOL will ask Parliament
to double the number of troops deployable to Afghanistan.
Jankuaskas provided an update of pledges of support on March
10, noting that efforts to encourage allies to contribute
personnel resources to the Lithuania-led provincial
reconstruction team have produced few commitments.
Jankauskas asked if the U.S. would consider sending a
military observation team or other resources to support the
mission. Other PRT-related problems confronting Lithuania
include difficulty pinning down Dari language services. End
Â¶3. (C) Jankauskas told us on March 10 that the GOL projects
that staffing a Lithuania-led provincial reconstruction team
(PRT) in Chagcharan (Ghor Province), Afghanistan, will
require 150 troops. This figure, 50 percent greater than
Lithuania's initial calculations for leading a PRT in
Qal-e-Now, Badghis Province, reflects the difference in size
between Badghis and Ghor. Jankauskas described limited
successes in the GOL's efforts to solicit pledges of support
for the PRT from allies, as follows.
-- Denmark still considering contributing two six-person
military observation teams (MOTs).
-- The UK is discussing sending one MOT, but has made no
-- Estonia and Romania have indicated they will not
contribute to the Lithuania-led PRT.
-- Latvia is still considering a contribution.
-- Sweden sends positive, if mixed, signals. It is unclear
if the Swedish contingent will be civilian or military.
Â¶4. (C) Jankauskas emphasized that calculations of
requirements may change when Lithuania conducts its
reconnaissance of Chagcharan. (Lithuania is planning to
begin a reconnaissance mission March 19, weather permitting.)
In light of current thinking, however, and given the limited
pledges of allied support, Jankauskas said that within the
next 30 days the GOL will ask Parliament to double the
mandate of deployable troops to Afghanistan from the current
70 to 140.
Â¶5. (C) Jankauskas informed us that Undersecretary Dalius
Cekuolis will head a new MFA PRT working group. He noted
that former Minister of Defense Linas Linkevicius will assume
de facto leadership of the group until his departure for
Brussels in May to head Lithuania's NATO mission.
Â¶6. (C) Jankauskas asked whether the United States would
consider contributing personnel to support the PRT in
Chagcharan. He also reiterated a request for USG support and
advice in locating interpreters and securing language
training in Dari.
Â¶7. (C) Comment: Lithuania is looking within to make good its
commitment to lead a PRT in Afghanistan, and has not balked
at the greater demands and logistical challenges of basing
its operations in the inhospitable reaches of Chagcharan.
The GOL is grateful for the USG commitments already provided,
but it will need more assistance in areas like language
training to pull this off. We will continue to flesh out
Lithuania's precise requirements as the details (and price
tags) become clearer.