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Cablegate: Kbr Perspective On Habur Gate

Published: Fri 7 Nov 2003 02:55 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS ANKARA 007000
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EPET PREL IZ TU
SUBJECT: KBR PERSPECTIVE ON HABUR GATE
REF: ADANA 0241
1. (SBU-BUS SENS) A senior Kellogg, Brown and Root-Turkey
(KBR-T) manager met with PO on Oct. 31 to update the state
of current challenges to orderly flow in Turkey along the
Iraq ground line of communication (GLOC) as well as
transit bottlenecks at the Habur Gate. The KBR-T official
noted that the chief problem producing delays at the gate
continued to be duplicative, inefficient Turkish border
customs/immigration controls as reported in reftel, but
that private Turkish trucker diversion of petroleum, oil,
lubricant (POL) products was declining due to self-policing
by sub-contractors and concerted investigative efforts by
KBR-T staff. The largest buildup of trucking assets
continued to be at the Iraqi side of the gate as Turkish
customs officials scrutinized the empty trucks for possible
smuggled items unrelated to KBR-T POL
products.
2. (SBU-BUS SENS) He related that the Turkish drivers felt
increasingly insecure on the outbound trip from Iraq to
Turkey, particularly those returning from deliveries to the
Central Zone the vicinity of Baghdad. Recently, armed
robbers attacked a truck on the return trip and killed the
driver. According to the official, this was the first
fatality suffered by the Turkish truckers employed by KBR.
He noted that US military forces adequately protected the
loaded fuel convoys on the inbound trip from Turkey to
Iraq.
3. (SBU-BUS SENS) The official reiterated in this meeting
that the Turkish long-haul POL trucking capacity is near
exhaustion making greater efficiency at the gate the
central concern. He said that the imminent start of a new
KBR-LOGCAP mission will make matters yet more complicated.
It will rely on Western and Central European truckers to
pass the gate over the next 90-110 days to deliver pre-
fabricated housing. Unlike tne existing KBR project, these
drivers will not have experience with Turkish routes,
Customs or language. Nor will they do more than one
roundtrip, which might otherwise allow for a learning curve
to produce greater transit efficiency. He stated that as
winter weather intensifies, the Turkish GLOC will further
deteriorate because of inadequate road maintenance. The
possibility of a Turkish deployment to Iraq utilizing the
Habur Gate would strain the infrastructure even further.
The focus on the Habur Gate crossing problems was becoming
more crucial he noted, because as winter approached, it
would become impossible to start work on or finish a second
crossing. Habur Gate, for all its problems, might well be
the only option until, at the earliest, next May, he
offered.
EDELMAN
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