INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Host Nation Sensitivity Survey: Usn Plan To

Published: Thu 15 Oct 2009 04:04 PM
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C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (ADDED CLASSIFIED BY LINE)
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/15/2019
TAGS: MARR PREL PGOV UK IO
SUBJECT: HOST NATION SENSITIVITY SURVEY: USN PLAN TO
HOMEPORT SUBMARINE TENDER TO DIEGO GARCIA Classified By: Political Counselor Robin Quinville, for reasons 1.4 b and d
1. (C) COMUSEUCOM has requested a host nation sensitivity survey for the USN plan to homeport a submarine tender to Diego Garcia in 2010. For the reasons discussed below, there is no expected negative reaction by HMG to this change.
2. (C) HMG considers continued presence of military ships and infrastructure, including additional homeporting of USS EMORY S. LAND, consistent with the legitimate military use of Diego Garcia and not inconsistent with HMG's plans to designate the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) as a "marine protected area." The homeporting of the submarine tender was discussed during the most recent annual U.S.-UK consultations on Diego Garcia, held September 10-11 in Washington, D.C. The UK officials present voiced no objections or concerns about the proposal. In fact, the UK shared a nonpaper with U.S. officials dated September 7, 2009, which includes the express assurances, among others, that "there will be no change to the fundamental purpose of BIOT; to serve the defence interests of the UK and U.S." The nonpaper also states that "Diego Garcia and its 3 mile territorial limit will be excluded from the MPA." Embassy London notes the possibility that, at some future date, a public pressure group or groups might argue that military use of the BIOT is inconsistent with its designation as a "marine protected area." However, there is no indication that the current British government or the opposition Conservative Party would endorse this view.
3. (C) No families or dependents will move to Diego Garcia in conjunction with this change in homeport. Furthermore, host-tenant agreements are already in place with CO, NAVSUPPFAC Diego Garcia, who coordinates directly with the Royal Navy. This action is not expected to affect any specific U.S. treaty or commitment with HMG. Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX
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