Viewing cable 07VILNIUS401
Title: (C) LITHUANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER CONFIRMS DRAW-DOWN

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07VILNIUS4012007-06-04 15:00:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXYZ0025
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHVL #0401 1551500
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 041500Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1332
INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000401 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/28/2017 
TAGS: MARR MOPS PREL PGOV EAID LH
SUBJECT: (C) LITHUANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER CONFIRMS DRAW-DOWN 
IN IRAQ 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN CLOUD FOR REASONS 
1.4 (B) AND (D) 
 
¶1. (C) SUMMARY: Ambassador Cloud reiterated the U.S. 
preference that the GOL leave a platoon of troops in Iraq to 
Lithuanian Defense Minister Juozas Olekas on May 28.  Olekas 
said that, after deliberations with President Adamkus and FM 
Vaitiekunas, the GOL has decided to keep some staff officers 
and trainers, but not a platoon, in Iraq.  Acknowledging that 
it fell short of U.S. expectations, Olekas attributed the 
decision to increasing parliamentary pressure, worsening 
public opinion about the war, and other military commitments. 
End Summary. 
 
IRAQ PRESENCE 
------------- 
 
¶2. (C) On May 28, Ambassador Cloud and Defense Attache met 
with Lithuanian Minister of Defense Juozas Olekas. 
Ambassador Cloud said that we understand the difficulties 
presented by Danish and British troop reductions this summer 
and how that would create challenges for the logistical 
support of the Lithuanian platoon in Basrah.  He emphasized 
the unified USG support for a Lithuanian platoon remaining in 
Iraq, including General Petraeus's strong preference for 
coherent combat formations to remain in Iraq.  The Ambassador 
recalled that Acting DASD Debra Cagan conveyed this message 
during her visit to Vilnius two months ago, and DASD Dan Fata 
reinforced the message..  The unified USG position, the 
Ambassador concluded, is that Lithuania should keep a platoon 
in Iraq. 
 
¶3. (C) Olekas responded by saying that the Danish drawdown is 
only one reason for GOL reconsideration of the continuing 
Lithuanian presence in Iraq.  Public opinion is becoming 
increasingly opposed to the war.  Political pressure in the 
Seimas (parliament) has also become a factor.  Lithuania 
continues to lead and fund a PRT in Afghanistan.  Lithuania 
will deploy Special Operations Forces (SOF) to Southern 
Afghanistan this summer.  The GOL would like to have stronger 
units consolidated in Afghanistan and Kosovo while continuing 
some presence in Iraq.  The GOL is also considering an 
enhanced presence in Kosovo in a combined 
Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian battalion. 
 
¶4. (C) After much deliberation, Olekas continued, the 
President, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and he agreed 
that the best course of action is to keep some staff officers 
and trainers in Iraq.  Olekas argued that this would be the 
best course of action in terms of maintaining long-term 
support in the Seimas for international operations.  He hoped 
he would succeed in his new proposal to the Seimas to extend 
approval for international operations for three years, and 
asked for USG understanding.  He said that he knew that the 
GOL's intended course of action did not meet U.S. 
expectations, but he expressed the hope that it will enable 
the MOD to maintain political support for foreigndeployments 
while they also seek to increase Lithuanian defense spending. 
 
¶5. (C) Olekas added that the GOL still considers the United 
States to be a very important defense partner.  He said that 
Lithuania will continue to work closely with the United 
States and will continue to pursue productive cooperation. 
 
¶6. (C) Ambassador Cloud assured Olekas that we remain friends 
and allies.  Lithuania, as a sovereign state, will make its 
own decisions, but we want to be clear about the USG 
position.  There is work that remains to be done in Iraq, and 
we need capable units from our coalition partners to see it 
through. 
 
KELLY