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Viewing cable 09BERLIN431, NEW U.S. AF/PAK STRATEGY GENERATES GOOD WILL, BUT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09BERLIN431 2009-04-10 10:10 2011-01-28 16:04 SECRET Embassy Berlin
VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRL #0431/01 1001025
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 101025Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3823
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 0501
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0624
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 0860
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDRUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE PRIORITY
201836
2009-04-10
09BERLIN431
Embassy Berlin
SECRET
09BERLIN369|09BERLIN382|09STATE31102
S E C R E T BERLIN 000431 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/07/2019 
TAGS: PREL MARR ECON EAID NATO EU AF PK UN GM
SUBJECT: NEW U.S. AF/PAK STRATEGY GENERATES GOOD WILL, BUT 
NOT MANY NEW GERMAN CONTRIBUTIONS 

REF: A. STATE 31102 
B. BERLIN 382 
C. BERLIN 369 

Classified By: POLITICAL MINISTER COUNSELOR JEFF RATHKE. REASONS: 1.4 ( 
B) AND (D). 

1. (S) SUMMARY. The new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and 
Pakistan has been warmly received in Germany and has 
engendered considerable good will, but it has thus far 
yielded only a few additional commitments from Berlin -- the 
chief of which is a contribution of 50 million Euros to the 
Afghan National Army (ANA) Trust Fund. While German 
officials agree that the effort in Afghanistan, especially on 
the civilian side, needs to be ramped up, they believe that 
Germany -- as the third largest troop contributor and fourth 
largest donor -- is already doing more in Afghanistan. 
Chancellor Merkel has made clear in a number of public 
speeches and comments recently that Germany feels no 
compunction to significantly expand its effort in Afghanistan 
in the near term, beyond what it was already planning to do. 
While the German effort -- especially in terms of ground 
troops -- is likely to remain concentrated in the north for 
the foreseeable future, there are ongoing discussions in the 
German government about what impact the eventual transfer of 
lead security responsibility (TLSR) to the Afghans in the 
north should have on the current disposition of German 
forces. While MOD reportedly argues that TLSR should have no 
impact, German Special Envoy Muetzelburg believes it should 
allow some German forces to be shifted to the west of the 
country. Other German officials think that in the longer 
term, Germany should consider teaming up with the Netherlands 
in Uruzgan Province, since the two countries share the same 
philosophical approach in Afghanistan. But none of these 
bolder ideas for increased German engagement are likely to be 
considered or debated seriously until after the September 
Bundestag election. END SUMMARY. 

DEMARCHE 

2. (C) Post delivered the talking points, civilian assistance 
non-paper and requests for specific German contributions 
contained in ref A to the MOD, MFA, Interior Ministry (MOI), 
Chancellery and Ministry of Economic Cooperation and 
Development (BMZ) in separate meetings on April 2, 3 and 6. 

GENERAL REACTION 

3. (C) All the German officials with whom we spoke warmly 
welcomed the new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, 
with several viewing it as an affirmation of Germany's own 
networked security or comprehensive approach. Chancellery 
Afghanistan Desk Officer Irina Speck noted that the new U.S. 
strategy had not only been well-received in Europe, but also 
in the Muslim world, including Afghanistan. She said the new 
tone and the willingness to be self-critical were very much 
appreciated. Only a few concerns were raised. BMZ 
Afghanistan Desk Officer Martin Kipping wondered, for 
example, if the President's emphasis on counterterrorism 
action meant that the U.S. was scaling down its ambitions to 
help Afghans build a fully democratic state. He seemed 
relieved to hear that the U.S. was not abandoning its 
long-term goals for Afghanistan, but simply establishing 
short- and medium-term goals to better focus its engagement 
over the next three to five years. Regarding the planned 
deployment of more than 20,000 additional U.S. troops to the 
south, Chancellery Military Affairs Chief Col. Erich Vad 
thought one likely result would be an influx of insurgents 
northward into the German area responsibility. He said the 
Bundeswehr would have to expect more attacks and security 
incidents in the north as a result of this squeezing effect 
in the south. 

4. (C) The reaction to the U.S requests for specific German 
contribution was also largely positive. German officials 
were clearly relieved, for example, that we had taken German 
domestic political realities into account and were not asking 
for German combat forces to be deployed outside the north. 
At the same time, our requests have yielded only a few 
additional commitments thus far. While German officials 
agree that the effort in Afghanistan, especially on the 
civilian side, needs to be ramped up, they believe that 
Germany is already doing its fair share in Afghanistan. They 

point out that Germany is not only the third largest troop 
contributor (with 3,900 troops currently deployed, a few 
hundred more on the way and authorization to go up to 4,500), 
it is also the fourth largest donor (with a total of 170.7 
million Euros committed to civilian reconstruction, economic 
development and humanitarian assistance in 2009 -- 80 million 
Euros from BMZ and 90.7 million from the MFA). 

5. (C) The problem, as German officials see it, is not that 
they need to do more, but that they need to do a better job 
of publicizing what they are already doing. As Chancellor 
Merkel has made clear in a number of public speeches and 
comments recently, Germany feels no compunction to 
significantly expand its effort in the near term. Her belief 
is that, in the context of last October's renewal of the 
parliamentary mandate for the Bundeswehr's participation in 
ISAF, Germany has already taken a number of measures to boost 
its military and civilian engagement. She sees no reason to 
re-examine this issue again until the ISAF mandate comes back 
up for renewal, which has been deliberately set for December, 
safely after the Bundestag election in September. 

6. (C) In private, Germans tell us that they are our most 
reliable partner because they, unlike the Dutch and 
Canadians, have committed themselves to staying indefinitely 
in Afghanistan and have not publicly announced a withdrawal 
date, notwithstanding the low German public support for the 
mission. (In a recent German magazine poll, 61 percent 
answered no to the question: Should the Bundeswehr remain 
stationed in Afghanistan? This tracks with INR surveys, 
which show that 58% oppose the Bundeswehr's participation in 
ISAF and only 39% support it.) When it is pointed out that 
Germany may never get credit for bearing its full share of 
the burden in Afghanistan as long as it refuses to send 
combat troops outside of the relatively peaceful north, the 
answer is a helpless shrug and the comment: We can live with 
that. 

7. (SBU) Detailed German responses to ref A's requests for 
specific contributions are provided in paras 8-23. 

RC-NORTH ELECTION SUPPORT FORCE 

8. (C) MFA ISAF Action officer Lukas Wasielewski noted that 
Sweden and Norway had just announced that they could not 
provide the promised forces to augment their PRTs during the 
upcoming Afghan election. As a result, there is now suddenly 
a shortfall of four platoons -- or about 120 soldiers -- for 
election support in the north. (As reported ref B, 
Wasielewski had highlighted previously that the requirements 
for election support in the north were completely fulfilled.) 
Wasielewski could not make any promises, but said that 
Germany was considering stepping in to fill the gap. 

FOCUSED DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT 

9. (C) As reported ref B, Germany only began its 
participation in the focused district development (FDD) 
police training program in January, but based on the very 
positive results so far, it is already considering a 
significant expansion of its effort, from the currently 
planned 10 districts to 20. MFA Afghanistan-Pakistan Task 
Force Director Ruediger Koenig thought Germany's decision to 
be the first country to join the U.S. on FDD demonstrated its 
unique reliability as a partner. Helmut Teichmann, MOI 
Office Director for International Police Affairs, indicated 
that Germany,s goal of reaching 20 FDD districts by spring 
2010 would be facilitated by the opening of a new police 
training center in Kunduz this July. Teichmann, who just 
back from a visit to Afghanistan, noted that the building of 
a border police academy in Kabul was behind schedule and 
might not be opened until spring 2010. When completed, the 
academy will train 500 students a year. 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM 

10. (SBU) Several of our German interlocutors noted that 
Germany is already quite active in efforts to improve the 
Afghan criminal justice system. According to the MFA 
Afghanistan action officer responsible for civilian 
reconstruction, Christian Dokter, the MFA spends about 2.5 
million Euros a year on a variety of legal training projects 
and support programs, while BMZ spends about 3 million Euros. 

The BMZ-funded rule of law programs include support for 
legal aid offices and a project to improve cooperation 
between police and state prosecutors in handling criminal 
cases. 

11. (SBU) One of the main MFA programs is a legal training 
program run by the Max Planck Institute at the University of 
Heidelberg, which conducts workshops in Afghanistan for 
lawyers and judges and which also prepares legal texts and 
commentaries in Dari and Pashtu on the Afghan constitution 
and Afghan laws. Doktor said the program had been primarily 
focused in the north and Kabul up to now, but that courses in 
2009 would be extended for the first time to Afghans who live 
in the south and east. He estimated that more than 2,000 
Afghan jurists had been trained since the start of this 
program in 2005. 

ANA TRUST FUND 

12. (C) FM Steinmeier announced at the May 31 Afghanistan 
Conference in The Hague that Germany would contribute 50 
million Euros to the ANA Trust Fund in 2009. Both MFA and 
Chancellery officials heralded the contribution as the 
biggest one to date and especially significant for a country 
that is also the third largest troop contributor. MFA ISAF 
Action Officer Wasielewski emphasized, however, that the 
commitment was for 2009 only. With Bundestag elections in 
September, a decision on future contributions to the Trust 
Fund in 2010 and beyond will be left to the next government. 
That said, Wasielewski thought it likely that Germany would 
continue to contribute to the Trust Fund at the current 
level, if not higher. He noted that the 2009 contribution 
had come out of the government's general finance fund, rather 
than out of any particular ministry's budget. 

ELECTRICAL POWER 

13. (SBU) BMZ Afghanistan Desk Officer Kipping noted that 
renewable energy is one of BMZ's four priority areas in 
Afghanistan, and that it has already budgeted 27 million 
Euros to build one hydropower station in Kunduz (Khanabad) 
and two in Badakhshan (Keshem and Feyzabad). Kipping also 
noted that the BMZ has made some 5 million Euros available to 
support micro hydropower projects for small, isolated 
communities that would not be able to connect to a central 
grid, as is the case in much of Badakhshan. As far as the 
Northern Electric Power System is concerned, BMZ has 
committed some 24.4 million Euros to the construction of 
power stations and transmission lines. 

OMLTS 

14. (SBU) As reported ref B, Germany, in cooperation with its 
northern partners, has committed to fulfill by the end of the 
year all of the OMLT requirements for the two brigades of the 
209th Afghan National Army (ANA) Corps based in the north. 

15. (C) Regarding the possibility of allowing German OMLTs to 
deploy outside the north, at least into RC-West, both MOD and 
MFA claimed that they saw little practical necessity for 
German OMLTs to do this. MOD Political-Military Affairs 
Director Col. Bernd Schuett said that the 209h ANA Corps was 
responsible for the northern region, and the Afghan MOD had 
indicated no interest in re-deploying it or its subordinate 
units to other areas of the country. The 209th Corps was 
supposed to stay and operate in the north. 

16. (C) MFA ISAF Action Officer Wasielewski claimed that 
apart from a single instance in 2006, there had been no 
concrete proposals by the Afghan MOD to send ANA Kandaks 
based in the north to other regions of the country -- even 
temporarily. Schuett emphasized that while German OMLTs 
(like any German unit) could, in theory, be deployed outside 
the north under an exception in the Bundeswehr's 
parliamentary mandate, such deployments had to be limited 
both in time and scope, and judged to be absolutely 
indispensable to the success of the ISAF mission. The German 
minister of defense himself had to make this determination. 
Both Schuett and Wasielewski agreed that there was little 
likelihood that German OMLTs would be deployed outside the 
north on this basis. 

17. (C) With regard to the district of Gormach, which was 

provisionally transferred from the RC-West province of 
Badghis to the RC-North province of Faryab last November 
based on a presidential decree, Schuett and Wasielewski 
emphasized that Germany still considered the district to be 
part of RC-West, even though ISAF HQ has given RC-North 
operational responsibility for it. Therefore, German forces 
-- including OMLTs -- can only operate in Gormach under the 
exception in the parliamentary mandate. 

GERMANS TO THE WEST AFTER TSLR IN THE NORTH? 

18. (S) In the context of the discussion about German OMLTs 
operating in RC-West, Wasielewski revealed that there are 
ongoing discussions in the German government about what 
impact the eventual transfer of lead security responsibility 
(TLSR) to the Afghans will or should have on the disposition 
of German forces in the north. Wasielewski said the MOD 
position -- especially that of Bundeswehr CHOD Gen. 
Schneiderhan -- is that TLSR should have no impact. MOD 
argues that German forces are already at minimal levels in 
the north, given the size of the area of responsibility, and 
that they need to remain in place to support/mentor Afghan 
National Security Forces (ANSF). 

19. (S) Wasielewski said that Special MFA Envoy for 
Afghanistan and Pakistan Bernd Muetzelburg sees it 
differently, believing that TLSR should open the opportunity 
to shift some of Germany's forces to the west, especially to 
the neglected northern portion of the region. Wasielewski 
noted that RC-West is largely preoccupied with the difficult 
security situation in Farah, and does not have the troops to 
provide a sufficient presence elsewhere. Wasielewski pointed 
out that one could argue that such a shift in Bundeswehr 
forces would be in Germany's own self-interest, since this 
area is believed to be one of main infiltration routes for 
insurgents moving north. Wasielewski cautioned, however, 
that any such consideration will only be seriously 
entertained after the September Bundestag election. 

TEAMING UP WITH THE DUTCH IN URUZGAN? 

20. (S) Another longer-term possibility for Germany's 
engagement in Afghanistan, according to Chancellery Chief of 
Military Affairs Col. Erich Vad, is teaming with the Dutch in 
Uruzgan Province. Vad noted that Germany and the Netherlands 
already have a close military relationship, as reflected in 
the joint German-Dutch Corps based in Muenster, and share the 
same military-civilian approach in Afghanistan. But he ruled 
out any concrete steps in this direction before the Bundestag 
election. 

PRT CIVILIAN EXPERTS AND PROGRAMS 

21. (C) German officials have long expressed skepticism about 
the efficacy of trying to create a strong central government 
in a country that has never had one, so they are very open to 
the new emphasis in the U.S. strategy on engaging more at the 
provincial level. During her April 5-6 visit to Afghanistan, 
Chancellor Merkel met with Balkh Governor Atta and reportedly 
emphasized to him that more and more German development 
projects would be agreed and carried out directly at the 
provincial level, because routing everything through Kabul 
took too long. 

22. (C) MFA Afghanistan-Pakistan Task Force Director Ruediger 
Koenig told us noted that while BMZ controls the bulk of 
German development funds and operates largely independently, 
the MFA civilian leader at each PRT has access to his or her 
own funds, which can be rapidly disbursed in support of 
hearts and minds projects of their choosing (subject to 
approval in Berlin). He noted, for example, that the 
civilian leader in Feyzabad had a budget of about 500,000 
Euros per year. 

23. (C) Koenig also agreed on the need for more specialists 
at PRTs, especially agricultural specialists, noting that he 
was already fighting for that with German development 
agency GTZ. He said MFA was also pushing BMZ to put more 
emphasis on supporting agriculture. Currently, agriculture 
is only addressed indirectly in the BMZ plan for Afghanistan, 
which focuses on three other priority areas, in addition to 
renewable energy: drinking water, education and economic 
development. 

Koenig