WikiLeaks cable: NZ input to Afghanistan strategy review

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

February 27, 2009
New Zealand input to Afghanistan strategy review

date:2009-02-27T03:08:00
source:Embassy Wellington
origin:09WELLINGTON53
destination:VZCZCXRO4049 OO RUEHSR DE RUEHWL #0053 0580308 ZNY CCCCC
ZZH O 270308Z FEB 09 FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC
IMMEDIATE 5769 INFO RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 5458 RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
PRIORITY 0151 RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 0090
classification:CONFIDENTIAL
reference:09STATE15623
?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000053

SIPDIS

SCA/A FOR TOM REOTT; EUR/RPM FOR AARON COPE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/27/2024
TAGS: MARR...
?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000053

SIPDIS

SCA/A FOR TOM REOTT; EUR/RPM FOR AARON COPE
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/27/2024
TAGS: MARR, MOPS, PREL, NATO, AF, NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND INPUT TO AFGHANISTAN STRATEGY REVIEW
REF: STATE 15623

Classified By: Embassy Wellington Charge David J. Keegan. Reasons E.O.
12958, Reasons 1.4 (a), (b), and (d).

1. (U) Reftel request was forwarded to the Government of New Zealand. Post received the following response from Michael Green, the Acting Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), handling Afghanistan among other responsibilities.

Begin GNZ response.

(C) Thanks for the offer to contribute. The following comments have been cleared with the Minister and with Defence. They don't really sit comfortably with the headings you proposed but should nevertheless convey to Washington a sense of our current thinking.
o New Zealand is about to undertake a review of its commitments to Afghanistan as a basis for decisions about engagement beyond the current mandates (which end on 30 September 2010). Pending the outcome of this review, responses on some of your points must be cast in fairly
general terms;
o New Zealand seeks an Afghanistan that is sustainable as an independent nation, free from major risk of subversion and from being used again as a base for international terrorism;
o New Zealand supports the NATO Comprehensive Strategic Political Military Plan and the Afghanistan National Development Strategy, while noting that they are frameworks only, do not guarantee success, and are currently either inadequately resourced, or not coherently implemented. Better civil/military coordination is necessary;
o All ISAF contributor countries, whether members of NATO or not, must be involved in the planning and monitoring processes of the international community;
o New Zealand considers that a sustainable Afghanistan is only achievable on Afghan models and ultimately with Afghan resources, and that international contributors must shape their assistance efforts to that end;
o In particular, the Afghan polity must be supported to produce real and increasing benefits for its people;
o Priority should be given to supporting Afghan governance models and Afghan institutions, with priority attention to the ANA and the ANP;
o Reconcilable Taliban must be induced through a variety of means to join the Afghan polity as contributing elements; irreconcilable Taliban must be reduced as a threat, at least to manageable proportions;
o Ways to reduce the ability of the Taliban to use Pakistan as a base must be pursued; Pakistan's support for the Taliban must be significantly curtailed;
o Counter-insurgency military action must continue, but with a focus on methods that minimize civilian casualties;
o The use of force in general must be carefully calibrated. Other elements, particularly diplomacy and development, will be crucial to success in the long term;
o Efforts to combat narcotics production and trafficking and corruption must continue, although success in these areas will probably be coterminous with, rather than precede, success in other areas. End GNZ response.

2. (C) In charge conversations with Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully and Minister of Defence Wayne Mapp, as well as conversations with MFAT and Ministry of Defence officials, it has been made clear that the GNZ understands that the U.S. will be making requests for additional resources to support efforts in Afghanistan. The GNZ says they will consider those requests commensurate with their existing commitments, including Afghanistan, and the small size of their military.

KEEGAN

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