Viewing cable 06VILNIUS487
Title: (C) LITHUANIA'S ISAF PRT (C-RE6-00473)

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS4872006-05-26 11:25:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO9147
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHVL #0487/01 1461125
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 261125Z MAY 06
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0202
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0051
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHNO/US MISSIONS BRUSSELS BE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 000487 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INR 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/23/2016 
TAGS: AF PINR MASS MOPS PTER LH
SUBJECT: (C) LITHUANIA'S ISAF PRT (C-RE6-00473) 
 
REF: SECSTATE 77257 
 
Classified By: Pol/econ officer Traver Gudie for reasons 1.4 (b,d) 
 
 ¶1.  (C) This cable responds to reftel's questions about host 
country's Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) in 
Afghanistan. 
 
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GOL COMMITTED TO AFGHANISTAN PRT 
-------------------------------- 
 
¶2. (C) The GOL remains committed to leading the PRT in Ghor 
Province.  Since standing up the PRT in August 2005, 
Lithuania's 124 personnel in Chaghcharan have had a 
significant impact on the stability and quality of life of 
local residents.  The Lithuanian MFA told us that they plan 
to increase reconstruction projects and civilian 
contributions in the near future.  Given the challenges of 
operating and sustaining the PRT, however, it is very 
unlikely that Lithuania will volunteer or be susceptible to 
persuasion to contribute to another PRT elsewhere in 
Afghanistan.  Lithuania has no intention to send maneuver 
battalions to Southern Afghanistan. 
 
¶3.  (C) The GOL has invited Ukrainian participation in the 
PRT, and MFA officials were in Kiev May 24 to  negotiate both 
military and civilian elements of potential Ukrainian 
participation. 
 
--------------------------------------------- - 
BROAD PARLIAMENTARY SUPPORT FOR AFGHAN MISSION 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
¶4. (SBU) All but one political party, the Liberal Democrats, 
supports Lithuanian participation in Afghanistan and Iraq. 
The Liberal Democrats, an opposition group with ten members 
in the Parliament, have repeatedly called (so far, 
unsuccessfully) for the withdrawal of Lithuanian troops from 
Iraq, but they have never called for Lithuania's withdrawal 
from the ISAF mission.  Parliament overwhelmingly voted to 
facilitate Lithuania's support for international operations 
in June 2005 by increasing the ceiling of deployable 
personnel to 420 and by empowering the military to deploy or 
redeploy troops within theater without seeking parliamentary 
authorization. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
MAIN GOALS: STRENGTHEN GOVERNMENT, INCREASE SECURITY 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
¶5. (C) According to MOD officials, Lithuania sees two main 
tasks for its PRT in Ghor Province: to strengthen the 
influence of the central government and to assist in 
establishing security and stability.  As a result, Lithuanian 
troops focus on conducting presence patrols, enabling 
reconstruction projects, and cultivating and advising 
provincial and local leaders.  They do not focus on offensive 
operations, nor has there been significant intelligence 
regarding Taliban or Al Qaeda activity in Lithuania's sector 
to support mounting offensive operations.  The PRT is 
primarily organized and equipped to conduct patrols and to 
provide for defensive force protection. 
 
-------------------------- 
OPERATIONS AGAINST TALIBAN 
--------------------------- 
 
¶6. (C) The Lithuanians interpret the rules of engagement as 
giving them latitude to conduct offensive operations if 
necessary.  Lt. Col. Mockunas of the Defense Staff's Director 
of Operations told us that Lithuania would mount offensive 
operations against Taliban or other insurgents within its 
capabilities if intelligence indicated the need.  The PRT 
commander would request external military support through the 
ISAF chain of command should the operation exceed PRT 
capabilities.  Since the rocket attack on the PRT Chaghcharan 
base camp on 19 May, the PRT has sent out nightly ambush 
patrols along likely attack routes and likely rocket and 
mortar launch sites in the vicinity of the camp. 
 
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SHOWING THE FLAG 
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VILNIUS 00000487  002 OF 002 
 
 
¶7. (C) The Lithuanian-led PRT in Chaghcharan conducts 
presence patrols in all seven districts of Ghor Province. 
The PRT comprises five Mobile Liaison and Observation Teams 
(MLOT) of six to seven soldiers each.  The province covers 
over 36,000 square kilometers; therefore, MLOT patrols in the 
districts closest to the PRT base camp in Chaghcharan 
typically last one day.  MLOT patrols to the districts in the 
southwestern portion of the province can last two to three 
days.  The purpose of these patrols is to demonstrate ISAF's 
commitment to the security and stability of the countryside, 
to meet with local leaders, to gather information on the 
security and development situation in the districts, and to 
escort and monitor personnel providing reconstruction 
assistance. 
 
------------------- 
WORKING WITH LOCALS 
------------------- 
 
¶8. (C) GOL officials tell us that the PRT has established 
strong, positive relations with local and tribal leaders 
throughout the province in a relatively benign security 
environment.  MOD officials said that the PRT enjoys a close 
and cooperative relationship with the Afghan National Police 
and the Afghan National Army.  The PRT includes a 50-person 
Afghan National Army element which augments base camp 
security and works for the Lithuanian Force Protection 
Company Commander in Chaghcharan.  The PRT reconstruction 
initiatives planned or currently underway in Ghor province 
include: 
 
-- Law enforcement training and provision of basic equipment 
to Afghan National Police and other institutions supporting 
the rule of law; 
 
-- Development of a police tactical radio network; 
 
-- Renovation of the Ghor Province Police Headquarters 
building; 
 
-- Promotion of good governance, financial management, and 
administrative reform; and 
 
-- Renovation of the Ghor Prosecutor's office building. 
 
¶9. (C) The PRT coordinates funding and administration of all 
of these projects with other partner nations and governmental 
and civic organizations.  The PRT coordinated, supervised, 
and completed projects to build a wall around a local girls' 
school and to renovate the clinic in Chaghcharan.  The PRT is 
currently seeking funding sponsorship to improve the main 
road from Chaghcharan to Herat.  MOD officials tell us that 
the PRT Commander lacks money for quick impact reconstruction 
assistance projects.  Lithuanian military regulations and 
accounting procedures are the primary obstacle to the 
establishment of a commander's discretionary fund, they say. 
 
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PLANS TO INCREASE THE CIVILIAN COMPLEMENT 
------------------------------------------ 
 
¶10. (C) Eight civilians (three Lithuanians, four Amcits, one 
Icelander) report directly to the PRT commander.  These 
civilians often accompany the five military MLOT on patrol 
throughout the province.  Additionally, military force 
protection elements often provide security at 
civilian-coordinated project sites.  The Lithuanian civilians 
comprise one legal advisor, one police advisor, and one 
civilian representative of the MOD.  In a recent meeting, MFA 
representatives told us that they intend to increase the 
civilian element, expanding the civilian law enforcement and 
security training role and bringing in agricultural and 
engineering specialists. 
MULL