Viewing cable 09VILNIUS698
Title: AFGHANISTAN: SPAIN, ITALY BILATERAL MEETINGS AT

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09VILNIUS6982009-12-21 14:59:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO2764
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHVL #0698/01 3551459
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 211459Z DEC 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4001
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD IMMEDIATE 0021
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL IMMEDIATE 0121
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID IMMEDIATE 0050
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME IMMEDIATE 0076
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO IMMEDIATE 1626
RUDKSR/EUCOM PLANS AND ANALYSIS STAFF STUTTGART GE IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/USCENTCOM POLITICAL ADVISOR MACDILL AFB FL IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 VILNIUS 000698 
 
C O R R E C T E D  C O P Y (PAR 3/4 CLASSIFICATION CHANGED) 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR S/SRAP AMBASSADOR RICHARD HOLBROOKE AND PDAS PAUL 
JONES 
STATE FOR EUR/NB, EUR/RPM, AND SCA/A HENRY ENSHER 
EMBASSY KABUL FOR AMBASSADOR E ANTHONY WAYNE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/21/2019 
TAGS: MAPP MOPS NATO PREL EAID AF LH
SUBJECT: AFGHANISTAN: SPAIN, ITALY BILATERAL MEETINGS AT 
RC-WEST IN VILNIUS 
 
REF: VILNIUS 695 
 
VILNIUS 00000698  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
Classified By: A/DCM John M. Finkbeiner for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
¶1. (C) SUMMARY: On December 8-9, Director of Office of 
Afghanistan Affairs Henry Ensher led a U.S. delegation 
comprised of U.S. officers posted to Herat and Ghor 
provinces, the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, 
USAID, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the 
Joint Staff, CENTCOM and U.S. Embassy Vilnius to the Regional 
Command-West (RC-W) conference in Vilnius, Lithuania. 
Ensher, along with Brad Hanson, the Senior Civilian 
Representative for RC-W, met with heads of delegations from 
Italy and Spain (as well as with Lithuania, reported septel) 
in a series of bilateral discussions.  The U.S. side focused 
on formalizing and improving means of support for U.S. 
civilians assigned to allied-led Provincial Reconstruction 
Teams (PRTs).  Representatives for both Italy and Spain 
agreed to raise U.S. concerns with Rome and Madrid. 
 
¶2. (C) The senior Italian representative raised the concern 
that growing the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) at an 
increased rate would be a greater waste of money and 
resources given the recruitment and retention issues that 
persist at current levels.  Rather than focus on quantity at 
the expense of quality, the U.S. should instead focus on 
fixing the issues with the Afghan National Civil Order Police 
(ANCOP).  The Italian representative expressed concern that 
the province of Farah might be taken out of RC-W and included 
in a new regional command to be formed after the arrival of 
the additional U.S. troops.  The Spanish representative said 
her country would explore the idea of a civilian counterpart 
to COMISAF, but noted that Spain would find it difficult to 
accept a U.S. official in this role.  END SUMMARY. 
 
--------------------- 
U.S./ITALY BILATERAL 
--------------------- 
¶3. (C) On December 8, Director of the Office of 
Afghanistan Affairs and Head of Delegation (HoD) to the RC-W 
Workshop Henry Ensher and Senior Civilian Representative for 
RC-W Brad Hanson conducted a bilateral meeting with Italy on 
the margins of the RC-W Workshop.  Carlo Batori, 
International Security Political-Military Counselor and 
Deputy Director in the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs 
(MFA) and Giuseppe Perricone, First Secretary of the Italian 
MFA and former MFA representative at PRT Herat represented 
Italy in this meeting. 
 
¶4. (C) The discussion centered on the Memorandum of 
Understanding (MOU) proposed by Embassy Kabul to the Italian 
Ambassador in Kabul regarding the provision of support by 
Italy at PRT Herat to U.S. civilians.  Batori asked for 
clarification regarding the numbers of anticipated United 
States Government (USG) civilians at Italian-commanded 
facilities and the status of the planned Herat consulate. 
Hanson first noted that the USG was responding to a long-time 
request by the Italians for a written MOU governing the 
presence of USG civilians at the Italian-led PRT.  Hanson 
explained that there are currently three U.S. civilians 
working at PRT Herat (two State Department personnel and one 
from USAID).  When the consulate in Herat opens, the two 
State officers will depart the PRT.  The U.S. wants to keep 
one USAID officer at the PRT.  Hanson also briefed on a 
proposal to the RC-W commander to post a USAID development 
advisor and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) advisor at 
RC-W Headquarters.  The MOU would cover both locations.  In 
addition, the U.S. may be asking the PRT to temporarily 
provide one or two Americans assigned to the consulate with 
accommodations for a few weeks or months before  the 
consulate opens.  The U.S. would like to see the MOU cover 
all of these U.S. personnel at both locations. 
 
¶5. (C) Hanson indicated we would be submitting shortly to the 
Italian Embassy in Kabul a revised paragraph governing 
security and movement to reflect the reality that U.S. 
personnel will self-drive in Herat as they have in the past. 
 
VILNIUS 00000698  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
Discussion ensued regarding possible security arrangements. 
 
¶6. (C) Batori noted that these are issues for the Ministry of 
Defense (MoD) to answer, but that he would raise them with 
the general staff.  They would be unwilling to accept an 
open-ended agreement, but he was pleased that Hanson 
specified the specific numbers for short- and long-term 
support.  More specifically, regarding security, it would be 
difficult for the Italian military to provide it for U.S. 
personnel when it does not provide security for Italian 
civilians.  Instead, security is provided by the Carabinieri 
-- which also explains why it would be impossible for the 
U.S. to buy a portion of the security contract as was done 
with the British in the South. 
 
¶7. (C) Hanson asked that threat information be provided to 
the USG civilians and that, in extremis, if the PRT is not 
able to provide a quick reaction force (QRF), that it 
facilitate communication between a USG civilian in a 
life-threatening situation with others who might provide a 
QRF. Hanson also noted that with the opening of a consulate, 
there would be new USG security resources to help protect USG 
civilians. 
 
¶8. (C) Regarding the sharing of threat information, Batori 
noted that sharing threat information is a "two-way street" 
and that if agreed to, the U.S. civilians at PRT Herat should 
also provide Italy with U.S. threat analyses.  Hanson noted 
that he already shares specific threat information coming his 
way with the PRT.  PRT Herat now has a U.S. military liaison, 
who could also provide the PRT with classified threat 
information.  Furthermore, a Regional Security Officer (RSO) 
will be part of the consulate staff, and he/she will work 
hard to develop good relations with PRT security colleagues, 
including sharing threat information. 
 
¶9. (C) Regarding the QRF request, Batori doubted this could 
be arranged formally because priority in such a situation 
would be given to the safety of Italian and ISAF military 
personnel and that the ability to respond would be dictated 
by events.  Batori said he would take this to the MoD and 
urge a solution that would be as open as possible. 
 
¶10. (C) Regarding Italy's troop increase, Batori said Italy 
will cap their number at 4,000 but that in reality, there 
might be more.  Currently, Italy has around 3,100 troops in 
Afghanistan.  Of the 4,000 Italy expects to have in 
Afghanistan, most will be in RC-W, with a few hundred in 
Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif. 
 
¶11. (C) Ensher suggested that the brevity of Italian civilian 
tours diminishes their potential effectiveness. Batori and 
Perricone both acknowledged this, but noted the difficulty of 
finding qualified personnel to go to Afghanistan, making the 
recycling of personnel a necessary, but admittedly imperfect, 
solution. 
 
¶12. (C) Batori was very concerned about Afghan National Civil 
Order Police (ANCOP) attrition and retention rates, 
especially given how much time and money had been invested in 
this particular part of the Afghanistan National Security 
Forces (ANSF).  He pointed to the under-utilized capacity at 
the Adraskan National Training Center in Herat province. 
Rather than grow the ANSF at a rate that guarantees quantity 
over quality, the U.S. should consider making retention of 
ANCOP a priority issue. 
 
¶13. (C) Batori proposed that our focus should be on elite 
units that can add value rather than going for sheer 
quantity.  Hammering out the problems with ANCOP should take 
precedence.  Hanson proposed that pay scales should reflect 
the education and literacy of entering recruits both to 
attract higher quality personnel and to help with retention. 
 
¶14. (C) Batori noted that the Italian military is very 
concerned about the rumors of taking Farah out of RC-W. Many 
of Italy's new troops could potentially go to Farah and if 
 
VILNIUS 00000698  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
Farah is taken from RC-W, the decision would be very 
difficult to support in Rome. 
 
--------------------- 
U.S./SPAIN BILATERAL 
--------------------- 
 
¶15. (C) On December 9, 2009, Ensher and Hanson also conducted 
a bilateral meeting on the margins of the RC-W workshop with 
Spain.  Spanish Counselor to NATO Teresa Orjales Vidal 
represented Spain in this meeting. 
 
¶16. (C) Ensher asked what Spain thinks about a civilian 
analogue to COMISAF.  Vidal said that the issue needs to be 
discussed and that there has not been enough time to evaluate 
generally the idea of a civilian coordinator.  However, she 
offered that although she appreciates the fact that most of 
the military and civilian effort in Afghanistan comes from 
the U.S., perceptions matter.  If the U.S. leads the civilian 
effort as it does in the International Security Assistance 
Force (ISAF), there will appear to be no balance and this 
will affect public opinion. 
 
¶17. (C) Vidal said that the additional military contributions 
will total roughly 220 military personnel, as well as some 
number of additional civilians. 
 
¶18. (C) Hanson raised the MOU proposed to the Spanish 
ambassador in Kabul regarding the provision of support by 
Spain at PRT Badghis to U.S. civilians.  Hanson explained 
that the U.S. would like to propose the addition of a USDA 
expert and a second USAID officer to add to the officers 
already there from the State Department and USAID -- 
increasing the number of U.S. civilians at PRT Badghis to 
four.  The proposed MOU is an attempt to respond to some 
allies, desire for a written MOU governing the presence of 
U.S. personnel at PRTs.  However, it is understood that some 
particulars will need to be individually crafted as the 
circumstances of PRTs vary.  Specifically, the U.S. may have 
a revision regarding self-drive. 
 
¶19. (C) In all cases, Vidal said she would take these 
discussions back to Madrid. 
DERSE