Viewing cable 09USNATO336
Title: NEW SECRETARY GENERAL'S PRIORITIES

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09USNATO3362009-08-05 06:46:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Mission USNATO
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3267
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNOSC/ORG FOR SECURITY CO OP IN EUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 0256
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY 0522
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 0645
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM PRIORITY 0043
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI PRIORITY 0034
RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI PRIORITY 0901
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 0811
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM PRIORITY 0595
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 6477
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI PRIORITY
RUEHYN/AMEMBASSY SANAA PRIORITY 0029
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 0620
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE PRIORITY 0419
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM PRIORITY 0795
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI PRIORITY 5829
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0944
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 0043
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY 0058
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1002
RUEHNO/USDELMC BRUSSELS BE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/USNMR SHAPE BE PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 06 USNATO 000336 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/31/2019 
TAGS: PREL NATO EWWT MARR MOPS AF PK RS TZ XW
SUBJECT: NEW SECRETARY GENERAL'S PRIORITIES 
 
REF: SG(2009)0675 
 
Classified By: A/DCM A. "Hoot" Baez.  Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1. (C/NF) SUMMARY: New NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh 
Rasmussen used the August 4 North Atlantic Council 
meeting--his first as the Secretary General--to set out the 
priorities for his term, including: Afghanistan, NATO-Russia, 
the Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation 
Initiative partnerships, Kosovo, counter-piracy, defense 
transformation, the Strategic Concept, and NATO-EU relations. 
 While receiving a generally positive response, several 
Allies--including the U.S.--stressed that his goal of 
significantly reducing or ending the KFOR mission should only 
be achieved through a conditions-based process, not a 
timeline.  Allies also reacted to what was not in his list of 
priorities, including Article 5 and the Partnership for 
Peace.  Many Allies also commented on his omission of the 
Western Balkans, although there is reason to believe that 
this may simply have been an oversight on his part. 
Membership for Ukraine and Georgia was also notably absent 
from the list.  Rasmussen's full speaking notes are included 
at the bottom of this message.  END SUMMARY 
 
Rasmussen's Priorities 
---------------------- 
 
¶2. (SBU) New NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen set 
out his priorities at the August 4 meeting of the North 
Atlantic Council (NAC), his first as the NAC's chairman.  He 
said his priorities include: Afghanistan, NATO-Russia 
relations, NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul 
Cooperation Initiative partnerships for the countries of 
north Africa and the broader Middle East, Kosovo, 
counter-piracy, defense transformation, the development of 
NATO's new Strategic Concept, and NATO-EU relations.  In a 
section delivered in French, Rasmussen also said that he 
wanted to make NAC meetings and other PermRep formats as 
productive as possible, adding that this would be the topic 
for the first PermRep lunch in September. 
 
But PermReps Lay Down Markers, Especially on Kosovo 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
¶3. (C/REL NATO) While PermReps largely offered support for 
Rasmussen's priorities, Allies also laid down markers on a 
couple of issues.  Rasmussen, for example, stressed the need 
to transfer lead security responsibility for Afghanistan to 
the Afghans.  He also said that his aim with regard to Kosovo 
was "to see KFOR reduced to just a small reaction force, or 
out altogether."  While acknowledging the need to move with 
all deliberate speed, Ambassador Daalder responded that any 
such changes--in both Afghanistan and Kosovo--needed to be 
based on conditions on the ground, not on a timeline.  The 
Hungarians and Czechs were particularly strong in supporting 
Daalder on Kosovo, with Hungary arguing that a political 
assessment was needed before decisions were taken to walk 
 
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through each "gate" as KFOR transitioned to a deterrent 
presence.  Following some of these statements, it was notable 
that Spain--which has not recognized Kosovo--stated that it 
shared Rasmussen's program "completely." 
 
What Does Not Make the List 
--------------------------- 
 
¶4. (C/REL NATO) Allies also reacted to some of what was not 
on Rasmussen's priority list: the Western Balkans, 
enlargement, the Partnership for Peace, and Article 5.  UK 
PermRep Eldon led Allies in stressing the need to keep the 
Western Balkans on the NATO agenda, calling for the Political 
Committee to have a broader political look at the 
region--including the issue of MAP.  Eldon also said that he 
hoped a NAC trip to the region could soon be organized. 
Albania, Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Croatia, and 
Italy all stressed the need to keep the Western Balkans high 
on NATO's priority list.  Romania, a strong supporter of the 
Partnership for Peace, urged Rasmussen not to exclude from 
his priority list those countries located in Central Asia, 
the Caucasus, and the wider Black Sea region.  The Estonian 
PermRep said that thought Article 5 needed to an important 
part of the defense reform agenda. 
 
¶5. (C) COMMENT: At least one or two of the omissions may have 
been unintentional.  In his statement at an August 3 press 
conference (available on the NATO website), Rasmussen 
outlined virtually the same priorities.  In that statement, 
however, he included a section on the need to keep NATO's 
door open for countries in the Balkans.  The Private Office 
told us after the NAC that the Secretary General had "gone 
off the script" a couple of times and that before they could 
distribute his speaking notes they had had to change them to 
reflect what he had actually said.  At the same time, it is 
also clear that Rasmussen made a point of mentioning the 
Istanbul Cooperation Initiative and the Mediterranean 
Dialogue in both places while not mentioning the Partnership 
for Peace in either.  While he may have intended to raise 
NATO enlargement to the Balkans, there is no indication that 
he intended to tackle the much more controversial issues of 
eventual Georgian or Ukrainian membership.  END COMMENT 
 
Rasmussen's NAC Statement 
------------------------- 
 
¶6. (SBU) The text of the Secretary General's speaking notes 
for his statement to the NAC was distributed by the Private 
Office (ref).  The text, including the first five paragraphs 
in French, is reproduced below: 
 
BEGIN TEXT 
 
 
Mesdames et Messieurs les Ambassadeurs, 
 
Bonjour. Voici venu le moment que j'attends depuis quatre 
 
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mois.  Avant de passer au premier point a l'ordre du jour de 
notre reunion d'aujourd'hui, j'aimerais tout d'abord vous 
dire quelques mots. 
 
C'est pour moi un tres grand privilege et un immense honneur 
que de me voir confier la responsabilite de secretaire 
general de cette grande Alliance.  Je voudrais tout d'abord 
exprimer mon admiration pour tout le travail mene par mon 
predecesseur Jaap de Hoop Scheffer et pour son leadership.  A 
l'heure ou je prends mes fonctions, je suis tres conscient 
des exigences de plus en plus fortes qui pesent sur l'OTAN et 
des grands defis qu'elles representent pour le Conseil et 
pour moi personnellement. Neanmoins, je suis persuade 
qu'ensemble, nous pouvons non seulement relever ces defis, 
mais aussi renforcer encore le role unique de l'OTAN en tant 
que garant de la stabilite et de la securite de nos pays et 
de leurs citoyens. 
 
Depuis de nombreuses annees, j'observe de pres cette 
Alliance, dont je suis l'un des plus fervents partisans. 
J'ai bien conscience que les conditions prealables 
essentielles a la reussite des entreprises de l'Alliance sont 
toujours les memes : tout d'abord une preparation et des 
consultations approfondies, puis des decisions claires, et 
enfin l'affectation des ressources voulues. 
 
Le Conseil de l'Atlantique Nord joue un role capital a cet 
egard. Il lui incombe de prendre les decisions strategiques 
qui orientent l'action de l'Alliance et ensuite de prendre 
les decisions journalieres afin que celle-ci garde le cap. 
Il est dans notre interet a tous de veiller a ce que le 
Conseil travaille de maniere efficace, rationnelle et 
harmonieuse.  C'est pourquoi je me rejouis a la perspective 
do nouer avec chacun d'entre vous autour de cette table, 
ainsi qu'avec vos delegations, des relations de travail 
etroites. 
 
L'ordre du jour de notre reunion d'aujourd'hui se presente 
comme d'habitude. Je pense cependant qu'il nous faut 
reflechir attentivement non seulement a la question des 
ordres du jour, mais aussi, de maniere plus generale, a la 
distinction entre cadres formels et informels. Nous devons 
consacrer le temps precieux qui est le notre aux sujets 
prioritaires, sans le gaspiller pour des questions 
secondaires. Jo vous propose d'examiner, lors de notre 
premier dejeuner a la rentree de septembre, comment rendre 
nos reunions et en particulier les reunions ordinaires du 
Conseil, aussi productives que possible. 
 
Je pense avoir assez parle de ce sujet pour aujourd'hui mais 
je vous en reparlerai dans les semaines a venir, et je compte 
bien que vous aurez aussi des elements a apporter au debat. 
Mais laissez-moi vous redire ma tres sincere intention de 
travailler etroitement avec vous tous au sein du Conseil dans 
les semaines, les mois et les annees a venir. 
 
But one thing is procedure. Another is substance. Yesterday 
 
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as I took office I gave a press conference setting out. 
 
I emphasised that NATO is doing more, in more places, than it 
ever has before but remains the ultimate insurance policy for 
the peace, security and freedom of nearly one billion people 
in 28 countries. 
 
My intent, as NATO SG, is to make the most of this enormous 
capability: in our operations, in our partnerships; and by 
transforming the way we do business. 
 
For me, that means starting with success in Afghanistan. A 
lot has been accomplished already.  But this year will be 
key.  This month's elections will not be to the same 
standards we might expect elsewhere.  But they must be 
credible, particularly with the Afghans themselves. 
 
So most immediately we have to focus on credible elections, 
while in longer-term we must move forward, concretely and 
visibly, in transferring lead security responsibility for 
Afghanistan to the Afghans. 
 
That means that during my term as NATO SG, we should see 
Afghans in the lead not only in Kabul, but also in the North 
and the West, and moving into a leadership role wherever 
possible in the South and East. 
 
I was clear with the press referring to "LEAD" responsibility 
for the Afghans, with NATO there in support.  The Afghan need 
to believe that we are there for as long as it takes. 
 
However, supporting them means helping them stand on their 
own feet.  Which means more trainers, more civilian support, 
and more help for the Afghan to build their institutions. 
But this has to be an international team effort, NATO can't 
do it alone, and essentially, we need more effort from the 
Afghans themselves. 
 
We can't wait.  We now have to show the Afghan people, and 
the people in troop contributing nations, more light at the 
end of the tunnel if we are to maintain their support.  The 
past month has made that bitterly clear.  I believe it can be 
done.  We shouldn't doubt that. 
 
Second priority: NATO-Russia relations.  Resumption of work 
by the NRC at political level and the restarting of military 
cooperation is good.  Clearly there is also scope for us to 
work together, on Afghanistan, on piracy, on counter- 
terrorism. 
 
However, it is also obvious that there will be fundamental 
issues on which we disagree.  We must insist, for example, 
that Russia fully complies with its international 
obligations, including respecting the territorial integrity 
and political freedom of its neighbours. 
 
But I don't want those areas of disagreement to poison the 
 
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whole relationship.  I made clear my message to the Russian 
leadership and people: Let us talk and find areas to work 
together.  The NRC holds considerable potential for 
cooperation and understanding- on Afghanistan, on piracy, on 
counter-terrorism for example.  We should exploit that. 
 
Another partnership will be a third priority for me: our 
relationship with the Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul 
Cooperation Initiative countries.  This Alliance has, over 
years, built up a strong relationship and cooperation with 
our MD and ICI partners. I intend to build on the work done 
by my predecessor in this area. 
 
On Kosovo, my aim is clear.  By the end of my term, I want to 
see KFOR reduced to just a small reaction force, or out 
altogether.  It should not be rushed.  But I believe that the 
conditions will, in time, be right to retire KFOR with 
success. 
 
I want to see NATO having a standing anti-piracy role, with 
the capabilities, legal arrangements and force generation in 
place to make it happen.  This problem won't wait, so I will 
be coming back to you in the very near future on this. 
 
I won't forget defence transformation however, and intend to 
push ahead on issues including common funding, and joint 
projects like the SAC.  With global finances the way they 
are, we cannot afford anything but efficient, modern and, 
where appropriate, multinational approaches to defence. 
 
All of this work - taking forward our operations, building 
stronger capabilities, developing our capabilities, and 
strengthening our partnerships will be quantified in the new 
Strategic Concept process. 
 
On the Strategic Concept, it is, of course, a bit early for 
me to say what I think should be in the final document.  But 
I can tell you what I think need to be some important 
principles guiding the work: 
 
-- That it must be ambitious, but also realistic with regards 
to resources; 
-- That it should firmly establish NATO as a part of the 
global community of international actors; 
-- That it should take a holistic view of security, and then 
set out how NATO can play its part; 
-- It should not neglect reform of NATO itself. 
-- It should also be by far the most open and the most 
inclusive process of policy development NATO has ever 
conducted. 
 
On NATO-EU relations, I intend to push very hard, at the 
highest level, to try to make progress on this front as well. 
 This is something which I know frustrated my predecessor and 
I am determined to give this my personal attention.  I want 
to see more political consultation, formal and informal; and 
more practical cooperation.  All, let me be clear, without 
 
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replacing the agreed framework or undermining the autonomy of 
decision-making of the two organisations. 
 
END TEXT 
DAALDER