INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Poland to Consider a Prt in Afghanistan

Published: Thu 16 Aug 2007 09:53 AM
VZCZCXRO1809
OO RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #2743 2280953
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 160953Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9760
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC//JF/UNMA//
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUMICEA/JICCENT MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFIUU/COMSOCCENT MACDILL AFB FL
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 4198
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 3663
RUEHWR/AMEMBASSY WARSAW 0056
UNCLAS KABUL 002743
SIPDIS
SIPDIS
DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/FO, SCA/A, EUR,EUR/RPM
CENTCOM FOR CG CFC-A, CG CJTF-82, AND POLAD
SENSITIVE
E.O. 12958 N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV AF PL
SUBJECT: POLAND TO CONSIDER A PRT IN AFGHANISTAN
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Polish Government will soon consider whether
to stand up a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Afghanistan.
Internal discussions will begin in Warsaw on August 17. Polish
diplomats in Kabul have met with Embassy PRT director to sound out
initial USG thoughts. Based on input from Department, USNATO and
CJTF-82, we have encouraged them to proceed with their
deliberations, while stressing that it would be a serious,
resource-intensive national commitment that will need to be worked
through NATO/ISAF. The Poles responded that they heard our message
"loud and clear," that any PRT would be a wholly Polish effort and
that they are well aware that there is a great deal of work ahead.
END SUMMARY
2. (SBU) On August 11, Polish Military Attache Colonel Pyotr
Lukasiewicz met with PRT Director to discuss the potential
establishment of a Polish PRT. Lukasiewicz stressed that Warsaw is
at the start of a long process and that no decision has yet been
made. If a PRT is established, the Poles would want to co-locate it
with their maneuver battalion in Paktika province. There is a US-led
PRT in northern Paktika, but geography and distance make it
difficult to operate effectively throughout the province. The Poles
state that their soldiers have been successful in reaching out and
making contacts and want to deepen these relationships through
development efforts. They also noted that locating the PRT with the
battle group would be politically welcome in Poland.
3. (SBU) Lukasiewicz returned August 15 to follow up. Based on input
from the Department, USNATO and CJTF-82, PRT Director urged them to
proceed with their deliberations. He stated that they would need to
work closely with SHAPE, NATO and ISAF. Additionally, a
"sub-provincial" PRT would need to coordinate with the "lead PRT," a
move which might include Political Officers assigned to both
entities. PRT Director also commented that a PRT is a long-term
commitment requiring adequate funding. Also, Poland would have to
take on the effort itself and not look to the U.S. for significant
support.
4. (SBU) Lukasiewicz stated that he had heard our cautions "loud and
clear." He reiterated that no decision had been made. He took on
our points about coordination with SHAPE/NATO/ISAF, commenting that
Poland had been in the Alliance long enough to understand that much
hard work lay ahead. He assured us that Warsaw understood that this
had to be a Polish effort and that they could not look to others for
help. His next step will be a series of visits with ISAF and
CJTF-82 to flesh out details and elicit advice. He promised to keep
us apprised of his efforts.
5. (SBU) COMMENT: This is a positive step. While the Poles have a
great deal of work ahead of them, we believe that they should be
encouraged. We will have the opportunity to shape and direct their
efforts as needed to meet the situation on the ground.
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