Viewing cable 06VILNIUS671
Title: GHOR, AFGHANISTAN: A LITHUANIAN VIEW

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06VILNIUS6712006-07-18 12:00:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO3680
RR RUEHDBU
DE RUEHVL #0671/01 1991200
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 181200Z JUL 06 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0398
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 VILNIUS 000671 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/NB, SCA/A FOR SINGH 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/17/2016 
TAGS: PREL AF LH
SUBJECT: GHOR, AFGHANISTAN: A LITHUANIAN VIEW 
 
REF: A. VILNIUS 437 B. VILNIUS 483 C. VILNIUS 487 D. 
     VILNIUS 634 
 
Classified By: Pol/Econ officer Traver Gudie for reasons 1.4 b,d. 
 
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SUMMARY 
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¶1. (C) Lithuania's MFA representative to the Provincial 
Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Ghor province, Afghanistan, 
Dainus Baublys, debriefed us on Lithuania's goals and 
challenges there.  He told us that security was stable, as 
the PRT had good relations with the three local "warlords" 
who are (helpfully) separated by Ghor's inhospitable 
geography.  Nevertheless, crime and drug trafficking were 
major concerns, he said.  The PRT's priority is to reform the 
security sector, as corruption in the Afghan National Police, 
the Governor's office, and among judges and prosecutors 
stalls legitimate law enforcement efforts and undermines the 
rule of law.  He reiterated Lithuania's request for the 
return of American civilian police advisors, and also asked 
us to lean on Ukraine to send a civilian contingent to the 
PRT.  He intends to discuss the situation in depth at the 
upcoming PRT conference in Budapest, Hungary, July 20-21 (ref 
D).  End Summary. 
 
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LITHUANIA:  SECURITY SITUATION IS STABLE 
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¶2. (C) Baublys just returned to Lithuania after a year in 
Afghanistan.  He told us that the security situation in Ghor 
province was stable and that the PRT seldom met resistance 
during its patrols.  Baublys attributed this in part to 
Ghor's inhospitable geography which kept tribes separate, and 
in part to the Lithuanians' good relations with the three 
"warlords" Zada, Murghabi, and Salaam.  He said that the 
culture of corruption in the governor's office had set up a 
stable structure of kickback and profits from the drug trade 
to which all three groups had become accustomed.  Although 
Baublys complained that the extended absence of the Governor 
has frozen decision-making and administration of the 
province, the Governor's authority effectively extended over 
the security structures and was responsible for the stable 
environment. 
 
¶3. (C) Baublys commented that the warlords are reticent to 
surrender their weapons to the DIAG (Disbandment of Illegal 
Armed Groups) program.  Nearly all the weapons that the 
program receives are broken. 
 
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DRUG TRAFFICKING ASCENDANT 
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¶4. (C) The drug production and trafficking situation in Ghor 
continues to worsen, according to Baublys.  Baublys said that 
Ghor province already ranked fifth or sixth in poppy 
production in Afghanistan.  He thinks that the situation will 
grow worse as law enforcement and counter-narcotics efforts 
increase in neighboring regions, especially Herat.  Drug 
trafficking fuels the economy via corruption, he said, and 
this network of kickbacks is the backbone of Ghor's power 
structure as well. 
 
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PRT'S PRIMARY CONCERN: SECURITY SECTOR REFORM 
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¶5. (C) The PRT civilian element's primary challenge is to 
prop up law enforcement.  Baublys said that the PRT sought to 
move away from hearts-and-minds projects like building 
schools, which he said compete with other donors and confuse 
local populations as to what exactly the PRT is.  The new 
focus is "rule-of-law institutions."  The PRT, according to 
Baublys, set up weekly shuras with the governor, police 
officers, the judiciary, and, later, with the military 
prosecutor.  As PRT representative, he frequently visited the 
local prison and routinely visited administrators, police 
chiefs and detention centers in the districts.  Baublys said 
that there is political will among some law enforcement 
officials to implement the rule of law, but Lithuania still 
lacks the trust of the Afghan National Police.  The Afghan 
Police, said Baublys, are reluctant to share information with 
the PRT.  Baublys stressed the need for infrastructure 
development, such as buildings for rule-of-law institutions 
and roads to support law enforcement operations, especially 
outside of Chaghcharan. 
 
 
VILNIUS 00000671  002 OF 002 
 
 
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LITHUANIA SEEKING POLICE MENTORS 
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¶6. (C) Baublys reiterated Lithuania's oft-repeated request 
for the return of two American police mentors who were 
working with the PRT until February 2005 (ref A).  (Note: 
Ministry of Defense officials also raised this issue during 
the Bilateral Working Group meetings July 13 -- septel.)  He 
said that greater attention to police reform was critical to 
the success of the PRT's goals, and the American police 
mentors had been particularity good with their Afghan 
counterparts.  He also asked, although noting that he had no 
instructions to do so, if the USG could lean on Ukraine to 
send a civilian contingent to the PRT, which Lithuanian and 
Ukrainian officials have recently discussed (ref B). 
 
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DISTRUST OF KARZAI, KABUL 
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¶7. (C) According to Baublys, local administrators and the 
population distrust Karzai and the Kabul administration.  In 
part, he blames this on the fact that Ghor does not receive 
the attention that other parts of Afghanistan do.  UNOPS left 
after the 2005 elections.  The Afghan National Army deployed 
in Ghor only for a brief period before elections.  (Note: 
Although Baublys noted that the official GOL position was to 
seek the return of the Afghan National Army, he added that 
its return may be complicated by turf wars with the Afghan 
Police who currently operate the province's many roadblocks, 
and thus profit from drug trafficking.)  The province is, 
according to Baublys, low on Kabul's agenda.  Baublys 
described similar difficulties in working with NGOs in Ghor. 
Often the head offices of NGOs are located in other provinces 
and have other priorities.  Two NGOs have not come back to 
Ghor this year, and others have significantly scaled back 
their activities. 
 
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ON CAVEATS 
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¶8. (C) Although the Ministry of Defense is the primary policy 
maker with respect to Lithuania's caveats in Afghanistan, 
Baublys volunteered his opinion on Lithuania's two caveats, 
which state that Lithuania will not operate outside of Ghor 
province and will not engage in counternarcotics operations 
without instructions from the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense 
(ref C).  Baublys stated that Ghor province's levels of poppy 
production were high enough that any instructions to actively 
pursue a counternarcotics strategy would exceed the capacity 
of Lithuania's military contingent in Ghor.  In his view, the 
caveat protects the Lithuanians from the possibility that 
their Italian command would order them to act beyond their 
capacity in a counternarcotics operation.  As for the caveat 
that the PRT operate only in Ghor, he said that he understood 
the caveat to be completely based on Lithuania's 
capabilities, not willingness. 
 
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COMMENT 
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¶9. (C) Baublys' primary job in Afghanistan was to focus on 
law enforcement and corruption in rule of law institutions, 
so it is not surprising that he found corruption and drug 
trafficking a major threat to the success of the PRT's goals. 
 Nonetheless, he paints a slightly dimmer picture than 
Ministry of Defense officials, who prefer to highlight Ghor's 
province's relatively quiet security situation. 
KELLY