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Viewing cable 06THEHAGUE1991, NETHERLANDS/NATO: AMB. NULAND DISCUSSES ROAD TO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06THEHAGUE1991 2006-09-12 13:01 2011-01-26 17:05 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy The Hague
VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTC #1991/01 2551339
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 121339Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6781
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0189
RUEHRA/AMEMBASSY RIGA PRIORITY 0169
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 001991 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/UBI, EUR/RPM 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/11/2016 
TAGS: MARR NATO PGOV PREL AF NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/NATO: AMB. NULAND DISCUSSES ROAD TO 
RIGA WITH DUTCH 
 
 
Classifi...




78047

2006-09-12

06THEHAGUE1991

Embassy The Hague

CONFIDENTIAL



C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 001991 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

STATE FOR EUR/UBI, EUR/RPM 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/11/2016 
TAGS: MARR NATO PGOV PREL AF NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/NATO: AMB. NULAND DISCUSSES ROAD TO 
RIGA WITH DUTCH 


Classified By: Ambassador Roland Arnall, reasons 1.4 (b,d) 

1. (C) Summary: During her September 8 visit to The Hague, 
U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Victoria Nuland 
discussed the road to Riga with FM Ben Bot, Dutch officials, 
parliamentarians and journalists. Nuland framed discussion 
with three top summit goals: 1) progress in Afghanistan; 2) a 
constructive heads of state dinner; and 3) the global 
partnership initiative. Dutch interlocutors agreed with the 
need to demonstrate progress in Afghanistan, and offered to 
work with NATO SYG Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and other Allies to 
choreograph the heads of state dinner. Dutch officials 
support the global partnership initiative, but have some 
reservations with the explicit use of the word global and 
cautioned against moving too fast. End summary. 

Meeting with FM Bot 
------------------- 

2. (C) Nuland broadly covered U.S. goals for the Riga summit 
with FM Bot. She said the USG views Riga as an opportunity 
to make the case for a global, open NATO for the 21st century 
while demonstrably closing the doors on the NATO of the Cold 
War past. She argued that NATO's role in Afghanistan would 
determine the strategic backdrop for the summit, and 
commended the Dutch for their deployment to Uruzgan and ink 
splot strategy linking population centers in the province by 
development and infrastructure projects. On the day of the 
Heads' Meeting, the quality of discussion at the summit 
dinner would be determinative in terms of Heads' attitudes 
toward NATO; this requires working closely with NATO SYG de 
Hoop Scheffer to script and set the tone for dinner. 

3. (C) Bot was very supportive of ensuring a meaningful 
dinner dialogue. Alluding to countervailing forces at 
NATO, he said he would encourage his French colleague at the 
upcoming EU Foreign Ministers meeting to be more 
constructive. He described the French position -- 
strengthen the EU, weaken NATO -- as consistent in recent 
years. Nuland said European nations should push French 
President Chirac; too much U.S pressure could be 
counterproductive. Bot offered GONL assistance in that 
regard. 

4. (C) On enlargement, Bot said events in Ukraine suggest its 
membership aspirations are moving in the wrong direction. 
Nuland noted that NATO's open door policy requires 
candidate countries to want membership, which was not exactly 
clear in Ukraine at the moment. This does not mean, however, 
that NATO should give up on Ukraine -- Russia was working 
behind the scenes to foil closer NATO-Ukraine ties, she said; 
Bot concurred. 

5. (C) On the global partnership initiative, Amb. Nuland 
stressed the need to come as close to a consensus as possible 
at the foreign ministerial in New York. She anticipated 
French opposition, but that should not prevent all other 
Allies from sending a strong signal. Bot supported the 
initiative, but had some reservations regarding the use of 
the word global. Noting problems with EU expansion, he 
cautioned that NATO could be weakened by growing too quickly. 
Nuland stressed that the initiative was not looking to 
create a 26 100 structure with countries around the 
world, but rather strong 26 1 ties with more countries, 
and then mixing and matching in a 26 N format based on 
commitment to common action. 

Meeting with Dutch Interagency 
------------------------------ 

6. (U) Nuland had more in-depth consultations with members of 
the Dutch interagency, including MFA Director General for 
Political Affairs Pieter de Gooijer, MOD Director for General 
Policy Affairs Lo Casteleijn, Dutch Permanent Representative 
to NATO Herman Schaper, Principal Foreign Affairs Advisor to 
the Prime Minister Karel Oosterom, and MOD Chief of 
Operations Gen. Eikelboom. 

7. (C) De Gooijer described current Allied positions in 
Brussels as obstructionist, potentially leading to a negative 
summit in Riga. A more optimistic Amb. Nuland said the 
summit presents an opportunity for NATO to demonstrate that 
it had taken on global responsibilities, capabilities, and 
partners. She outlined three make or break objectives: 1) 

progress in Afghanistan by the summit; 2) constructive and 
meaningful dialogue during the summit heads of state dinner; 
and 3) an alliance strong, open, and flexible enough to work 
with current and new partners through the global partnership 
initiative. 

8. (C) On Afghanistan, Casteleijn identified three urgent 
priorities: 1) force generation issues, as illustrated by 
SACEUR's request for an additional battalion; 2) the 
transition to ISAF IV; and 3) improving ISAF security and 
reconstruction integration. Nuland noted French 
intransigence with regard to using the Strategic Reserve 
Force or the NATO Response Force (NRF) should the alliance 
fail to generate an additional battalion. She suggested the 
seven Allies contributing in the south pressure those not 
contributing, and push the French hard at the North Atlantic 
Council (NAC). De Gooijer cautioned against a showdown; 
instead, Allies should appeal to France's political 
responsibilities -- it needs to be a victory for Chirac, he 
said. Amb. Nuland agreed to work together closely to turn 
the French around. 

9. (C) De Gooijer expressed frustration with Karzai; Amb. 
Nuland commended the Dutch for holding Karzai's feet to the 
fire on changing the Uruzgan governor before they deploy, 
noting that sometimes Karzai needs this kind of pressure to 
focus. She also complimented the well-balanced Dutch ink 
splot strategy, and described the Dutch approach with the 
Afghan National Army and Police as a model for other Allies 
to follow. Longer term, she suggested the Alliance think 
about re-balancing the reconstruction work load. 

10. (C) De Gooijer agreed the Alliance must demonstrate real 
progress in Afghanistan prior to the summit, including the 
integration of security and reconstruction efforts. He 
stressed the need to learn from the situation on the ground, 
and to present these lessons to the public in order to temper 
expectations. Amb. Nuland concurred, noting that Afghanistan 
is a long-term effort for NATO. She recommended NATO senior 
civilian representative Dan Everts organize an Allied 
ambassadorial group in Kabul. 

11. (C) De Gooijer agreed that the heads of state dinner 
needed to be a constructive, meeting of the minds with a 
sense of commonality and purpose. This requires 
choreography -- any participant could potentially ruin the 
dinner by saying the wrong thing during opening statements, 
he said. De Gooijer offered Dutch assistance in working with 
other Allies and NATO SYG de Hoop Scheffer to ensure the 
dinner is scripted. That said, de Gooijer suggested the 
conversation also address where NATO is heading in upcoming 
summits. Going global might initiate a fight among Allies 
-- better to explain how NATO is a global organization rather 
than stating it explicitly, he said. 

12. (C) On the global partnership initiative, Nuland pointed 
to the importance of getting as close as possible to 
consensus on a general framework for the initiative at the 
New York foreign ministerial. The initiative should make 
available a single-box of tools from which partners can 
choose, and create flexibility for Allies to meet with 
interested partners at a 26 N format based on themes. 
This will also help identify advanced partners and give them 
more, if they want it. 

Meeting with MOD 
---------------- 

13. (C) In a separate meeting, Amb. Nuland and Casteleijn 
assessed the current situation in southern Afghanistan. 
Casteleijn said he would call his Norwegian counterpart prior 
to the upcoming NATO CHOD's meeting to encourage a Norwegian 
contribution in response to SACEUR's request for an 
additional battalion in the south. They also discussed the 
unlikelihood that France and Germany would support the use of 
the NRF in Afghanistan should NATO fail to generate a 
battalion. Amb. Schaper repeated earlier points that the 
best strategy in gaining French support should be to allow 
them to be the heroes, instead of jamming them publicly. 

14. (C) Casteleijn inquired if it made sense for NATO to 
pursue an approach similar to the USG's Commander Emergency 
Reconstruction Program (CERP). Nuland suggested the NATO 
bureaucracy might make such an approach difficult, and added 

the Canadians are already doing something similar to the CERP 
while the Brits are considering it. Casteleijn suggested the 
idea be discussed further at NATO to better coordinate 
reconstruction efforts. Nuland said the UN and EU should 
also be challenged to do more in terms of reconstruction 
efforts in Afghanistan. 

15. (C) Moving on to Riga, Amb. Nuland referred to SACEUR's 
plea for more NRF contributions -- especially logistics 
support -- to achieve full operational capability (FOC) by 
October 1. She stated the gaps in logistics was the main 
impediment to reaching FOC. 

16. (C) Amb. Nuland thanked the Dutch for their difficult 
decision during a caretaker government to purchase 500 hours 
for 2007 in the Strategic Airlift Initiative (SAI). 
Casteleijn was optimistic that the GONL will decide to 
purchase additional hours, but would have to wait until after 
the parliamentary elections in November. He said the Dutch 
require more hours than they had initially signed up for. 
Amb. Nuland said post-Riga, the Alliance should look at 
common-funding for aspects of the initiative. 

17. (C) Amb. Schaper and Casteleijn asked for USG 
expectations regarding the NATO Special Operations Forces 
(SOF) initiative. Amb. Nuland suggested the Alliance begin 
with a coordination cell staffed with 40-60 personnel by a 
framework nation, and accompanied by 2-3 personnel by 
interested Allies. She hoped the framework nation would be 
announced at the upcoming informal defense ministerial in 
Podoroz, and said the coordination cell could be unveiled at 
Riga. Casteleijn commended the SOF model, noting situational 
awareness and training benefits. 

Meeting with Parliamentarians 
----------------------------- 

18. (U) During a lunch hosted by Amb. Arnall, Amb. Nuland and 
Amb. Schaper related their recent trip to Afghanistan to 
Dutch parliamentarians. In attendance were current and 
former party members of the collapsed coalition, as well as 
from the main opposition Labor Party (PvdA). Nuland 
commended the Dutch deployment to Uruzgan, noting that she 
was very impressed by how the Dutch have linked security and 
development efforts through their ink splot strategy. She 
praised Dutch soldiers for their willingness to fight, and 
said Parliament should continue to support its troops. 

19. (U) In a spirited discussion, parliamentarians posed a 
number of questions and comments, including plans for the 
transition from ISAF III to IV, efforts to get Allies not 
contributing in Afghanistan to do more, SACEUR's call for 
more troops, the ISAF detention policy, criticism of the 
Karzai government, the porous border with Pakistan, poppy 
eradication efforts vs. alternatives, reconstruction efforts 
and the inability for NGOs to work in the region. 

20. (U) Nuland acknowledged the fight against the Taliban was 
difficult, as many of the enemy combatants killed thus far 
have been poor farmers while hard-line Taliban operatives 
remain across the Pakistan border. She argued that 
Afghanistan is at a tipping point with the Afghan people as 
to whether the Afghan government can provide them security. 
She praised the GONL's strategy with Karzai, and pressed the 
Dutch to push the UN and EU to do more in Afghanistan, 
especially with regard to reconstruction efforts. 

21. (U) Amb. Nuland has cleared on this cable. 
ARNALL