Viewing cable 05VILNIUS59
Title: LITHUANIA SAYS YES TO PRT

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05VILNIUS592005-01-18 16:41:00 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 02 VILNIUS 000059 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/17/2014 
TAGS: MOPS MARR MCAP PREL MARR MCAP PGOV PREL LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA SAYS YES TO PRT 
 
REF: A. VILNIUS 13 
     ¶B. 2004 VILNIUS 1196 
 
Classified By: Classified by Pol/Econ Officer Nancy Cohen 
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
CONFIDENTIAL 
 
SIPDIS 
PROG 01/18/2005 
AMB: SDMULL 
POL/ECON:NACOHEN 
DCM:TPKELLY; DAO:LBEISEL; POL/ECON:TRBOYD 
POL/ECON 
 
AMEMBASSY VILNIUS 
SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 
INFO ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY 
AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0011 
SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY 
JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY 
HQ EUCOM LO WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY 
HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY 
 
STATE FOR EUR/NB AND EUR/RPM 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/17/2014 
TAGS: MOPS MARR MCAP PREL MARR MCAP PGOV PREL LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA: CONDITIONAL YES ON PRT 
 
REF: A. VILNIUS 13 
     ¶B. 2004 VILNIUS 1196 
     ¶C. STATE 2743 
     ¶D. ANDERSON-KELLY EMAIL, 1/4/05 
 
Classified By: POL/ECON OFFICER NANCY COHEN FOR REASONS 1.4 
(B) AND (D). 
 
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Summary 
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¶1. (C) The GOL informed the Ambassador on the evening of 
January 18 that it will accept NATO's request for it to head 
a provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in western 
Afghanistan.  The decision followed weeks of intensive 
Mission and USG efforts to get Lithuania on board, 
culminating in two separate meetings January 18 between the 
Ambassador and Parliament Speaker Arturas Paulauskas and 
Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas.  Reflecting GOL concern 
about the cost and technical requirements involved, we expect 
that the GOL assent will come with some questions and with 
requests for follow-up on technical, logistical, diplomatic, 
and personnel assistance that the U.S. has said it would be 
willing to offer to a Lithuanian-led PRT (refs c and d).  End 
Summary. 
 
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Political Will Strong, Budget Less So 
------------------------------------- 
 
¶2. (C) The Ambassador followed up on earlier meetings and the 
visit of SACEUR General James L. Jones (septel) to address 
Lithuania's concerns about leading a provincial 
reconstruction team (PRT) in western Afghanistan.  In a 
series of meetings with Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas, 
Parliament Speaker Arturas Paulauskas, and Under Secretaries 
of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense, the 
Ambassador underscored that importance and value to NATO of a 
Lithuanian contribution, drawing on Jones's remarks to 
President Valdas Adamkus during the SACEUR's recent visit to 
Lithuania.  The Ambassador highlighted the political and 
military benefits to accrue from preparing for and leading a 
PRT, including advancing Lithuania's military transformation 
goals and enhancing the country's stature and military 
leadership within NATO and the European Union. 
 
¶3. (C) Responding to the GOL's concerns about its ability to 
realize PRT objectives on its own, the Ambassador reiterated 
Jones's assurances of EUCOM and NATO support and the USG 
commitments (refs c and d) to help Lithuania seek additional 
international contributions.  He encouraged the GOL to inform 
NATO of Lithuania's intent (albeit provisional) to lead a 
PRT.  On the evening of January 18, a senior MOD official 
informed the Ambassador on behalf of Defense Minister 
Kirkilas of the GOL's decision to move forward with the PRT. 
 
------------------------ 
Basic Design/Basic Needs 
------------------------ 
 
¶4. (C) Topping GOL concerns are Lithuania's lack of resources 
and lack of experience.  The Prime Minister emphasized that 
the GOL could only approve a PRT plan that requires no 
additional budget appropriations.  (Note:  Lithuania is at 
the beginning of a two-year period of fiscal discipline as it 
prepares for acceptance in the Eurozone in 2007. End note). 
With authorization and appropriations in hand to support only 
up to 70 personnel resources in Afghanistan, the GOL needed 
assurances that it could successfully meet PRT objectives -- 
in effect, on a shoestring. 
 
¶5. (C) Speaker of Parliament Arturas Paulauskas told the 
Ambassador that the National Security Council had initially 
harbored reservations about the idea of Lithuania 
contributing to the PRT.  Council members' reservations, he 
explained, had reflected both misconceptions about the nature 
of the "reconstruction" objectives and concerns about the 
availability of resources.  The current understanding -- that 
the PRT would take on responsibility for security and play a 
role in political coordination, rather than building the 
region's decimated economy from scratch  -- has resolved 
members' concerns. 
¶6. (C) Kestutis Jankauskas, recently returned from a 
UK-sponsored trip to existing PRTs in Afghanistan, described 
a basic plan that would not stretch the budget.  The GOL 
would pattern its approach to the PRT along the lines of the 
British model.  The security sector would be the main PRT 
priority, Jankauskas said, and current thinking is that the 
team could manage with a total complement of between 83-90, 
including the Lithuanian complement of as many as 70 in the 
mix.  Norkus, elaborating on military concerns, said that 
Lithuania would need a partner to provide strategic lift. 
The MOD would need assurances of the availability of language 
resources on the ground and would require training assistance 
to enhance intelligence capabilities.  They would also look 
for USG approval of Lithuania's outstanding request to 
purchase special equipment, including encrypted radios and 
night-vision goggles.  Jankauskas added to the list costs of 
delivery of food and water and provision of medical care and 
transport. 
 
¶7. (C) Prime Minister Brazauskas focused on another issue -- 
the question of the term of this commitment.  He told the 
Ambassador that Lithuania will need more clarity on how long 
the PRT mission is likely to last.  He also emphasized the 
need for a clear understanding about the provision and 
financing of health and medical care, training, transport, 
and necessary infrastructure development -- responsibilities 
that Lithuania would not be able to assume.  Cekuolis 
mentioned the need for a significant public diplomacy effort 
to overcome the lingering unpleasant memory among the 
Lithuanian public of the forced service of Lithuanian troops 
in Afghanistan during the Soviet era. 
 
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Comment 
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¶8. (C) The political will is strong to carry out this 
mission, but this small ally will need our help.  Lithuania 
will look to the USG to follow through on our promises for 
support (refs c and d).  We expect the Lithuanian government 
will reply to NATO this week with its provisional assent, 
giving us the opportunity to begin a discussion on whether we 
can translate Lithuania's strong political will to assume 
this task into reality on the ground. 
MULL