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Viewing cable 09BERLIN1434, MFA STATE MINISTER HOYER DEFENDS WITHDRAWAL OF

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09BERLIN1434 2009-11-12 17:05 2011-01-20 08:08 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Berlin
VZCZCXRO6317
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHRL #1434/01 3161749
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 121749Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5753
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BERLIN 001434 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/11/2019 
TAGS: PREL MARR MOPS NATO MNUC PARM GM RU AF
SUBJECT: MFA STATE MINISTER HOYER DEFENDS WITHDRAWAL OF 
TACTICAL NUKES, NEW CFE INITIATIVES 

Classified By: AMBASSADOR PHILIP D. MURPHY. REASONS: 1.4 (B) AND (D). 

1. (C) SUMMARY. MFA State Minister Werner Hoyer strongly 
defended the new government's commitment to seek the 
withdrawal of all remaining nuclear weapons from Germany 
during a November 10 meeting with EUR A/S Phil Gordon and 
Ambassador Murphy, arguing that there was not one credible 
scenario in which tactical nuclear weapons could be usefully 
deployed. He emphasized the seriousness of the commitment by 
noting that it would be one of the benchmarks by which the 
government would ultimately be judged. Hoyer said equivalent 
efforts should be made on conventional arms control and to 
that end, called for more creativity in bringing the 
Russians back on board with CFE. Hoyer expected that Germany 
would increase its contributions to Afghanistan after the 
upcoming international conference, but said it was too soon 
to talk about numbers. He claimed the Dutch may take on new 
responsibilities in the north after withdrawing from Uruzgan. 
Given the strong leftward shift of the Social Democratic 
Party (SPD), Hoyer thought it was unlikely that former FM 
Steinmeier would stay on much longer as parliamentary caucus 
chairman. END SUMMARY. 

TACTICAL NUKES 

2. (C) Gordon noted that up to now, FM Westerwelle had said 
all the right things about needing to go to NATO to address 
the proposal for the withdrawal of all remaining nuclear 
weapons from Germany. However, it was not clear whether 
Germany had thought through all the broader ramifications of 
its proposal. Gordon noted that the withdrawal could lead 
some to conclude that the U.S. was un-committing from 
Europe and further undermine confidence in Article 5 among 
newer NATO members. Withdrawal from Germany would also put 
other host nations in a politically difficult position, 
especially those like Turkey, who favored keeping the 
weapons. Once this becomes a public debate, no government 
may be able to withstand the pressure to have the weapons 
withdrawn. 

3. (C) Hoyer responded that during the coalition 
negotiations, defenders of the status quo could not come up 
with one credible scenario in which tactical nuclear weapons 
could be usefully deployed. Therefore, he argued, the 
supposed deterrence of these weapons was meaningless. Hoyer 
insisted that he took Article 5 seriously, but thought there 
were better, more credible ways of providing the required 
deterrence. He admitted, however, that the Baltic air 
policing mission, for example, and other initiatives like it, 
had proven insufficient for the newer Allies. He 
acknowledged the large stockpile of Russian tactical nuclear 
weapons, calling them pure nonsense, but did not condition 
withdrawal of tactical nuclear weapons from Germany with 
reciprocal cuts by Russia. Hoyer said the commitment to seek 
the withdrawal of nuclear weapons was one of the top 10 to 15 
benchmarks by which the new government would ultimately be 
measured. Therefore, its importance should not be 
underestimated. 

CFE 

4. (C) Hoyer thought it was important to balance nuclear arms 
control with continued efforts on the conventional side to 
avoid giving the impression that the build-up of conventional 
armaments was less important. He called for more 
creativity in finding a way out of the deadlock over the CFE 
Treaty. Toward that end, the MFA favored new initiatives 
that would force the Russians to respond and not allow them 
to continue to blame NATO for the impasse. Gordon pointed 
out that even if one were to take the Georgia issue off the 
table, the continued Russian demand for abolishing flank 
limits is unacceptable to many Allies and probably could not 
pass muster in Congress. 

EUROPEAN SECURITY TREATY AND OSCE SUMMIT 

5. (C) Hoyer said that in addressing the Medvedev proposal, 
it is was important to stick to current European security 
structures, noting that without the Helsinki Process, the 
previous night's celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall 
would have never been possible. While open to possible 
reforms of the OSCE, Hoyer shared U.S. skepticism about the 
need for a new treaty. He also agreed that an OSCE Summit 
hosted by Kazakhstan was hard to justify, given Kazakhstan's 
human rights record and the lack of substance to discuss. 

AFGHANISTAN 

6. (C) Asked what the prospects were of Germany doing more in 

BERLIN 00001434 002 OF 002 


Afghanistan, Hoyer said he agreed with the U.S. approach that 
it was important to first define the objective and then 
figure out the strategy before deciding on resources. In 
this regard, Germany viewed the upcoming conference as key 
for establishing the necessary basis for the international 
community's continued engagement in Afghanistan. Hoyer said 
he expected that Germany would probably end up having to do 
some topping up in all fields, military as well as 
civilian, but it was too soon to talk about specific numbers 
yet. Based on a recent visit to the Netherlands, Hoyer was 
hopeful of getting the Dutch involved in the north of 
Afghanistan. He said they felt bad about their upcoming 
exit from Uruzgan in the south and seemed eager to do 
something to compensate for that. 

GRIM FUTURE FOR STEINMEIER 

7. (C) Hoyer said that now that the Social Democrats are in 
opposition, they would forget extremely quickly what 
positions they used to support and move to the left. As a 
result, he thought it was unlikely that former FM Steinmeier 
would survive very long as the new chair of the SPD 
parliamentary caucus. The new designated party chairman and 
secretary general have completely disassociated themselves 
from the old SPD leadership and its policies. Hoyer said 
that if the new leadership stayed on its current course, 
Steinmeier, who was the SPD policy mastermind over the past 
10 years, could only stay on by repudiating almost everything 
he had stood for. 
MURPHY