Viewing cable 08ISLAMABAD525, SCENESETTER FOR CJCS ADMIRAL MULLEN
Every cable message consists of three parts:
- The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.
- The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
- The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #08ISLAMABAD525.
|08ISLAMABAD525||2008-02-05 14:02||2010-11-30 21:09||SECRET||Embassy Islamabad|
VZCZCXYZ0004 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHIL #0525/01 0361432 ZNY SSSSS ZZH O 051432Z FEB 08 FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD TO JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ISLAMABAD 000525 SIPDIS SIPDIS PERSONAL FOR CJCS ADMIRAL MULLEN FROM ANNE PATTERSON E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/22/2018 TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER PK SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR CJCS ADMIRAL MULLEN Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, for reasons 1.4 (b)(d) ¶1. (S) Summary. We look forward to your visit to begin the process of strengthening and refocusing our military to military relations with Pakistan's CJCS General Majid and COAS Kayani. This has become increasingly urgent because of the expanding insurgency in the tribal areas and attacks against GOP targets. We need to bring more discipline to the Coalition Support Funds (CSF), FMF and IMET programs we established in the wake of September 11 so they better support our counter-terrorism objectives. You may wish to follow up on the visit of the DNI and the DCIA to push Musharraf and Kayani on our objectives, including pressing all of them on expanded U.S. training and mil-mil and intelligence cooperation If you can set the scene for needed reforms, we can follow up during the annual bilateral Consultative Defense Group meeting in the spring. Although they are concerned about the 2009 expiration of the President's financial commitment to Pakistan, the military is reluctant to make necessary reforms. Your visit will help change their attitude. ¶2. (C) At the same time, I would like to discuss with you the assignment of more American officers in ODRP. We cannot have more effective military to military relations until we have more American officers on the ground. It will still be a long and painful struggle to improve relations, but the presence of more American officers is a minimal condition. End Summary. Political Uncertainty --------------------- ¶3. (C) A year ago, Musharraf's popularity was high; we were working together to support a smooth transition to a civilian government. Beginning with his decision to fire the Chief Justice in March 2007, Musharraf has made repeated political blunders culminating in a state of emergency (SOE) and temporary suspension of the constitution. He is increasingly isolated after firing long-time advisors who disagreed with some of these decisions. ¶4. (C) The February 18 elections are too close to call. No party will win enough votes to form a government alone, and the current game is one of coalition building. Musharraf's party remains well organized in the critical Punjab, but the state of emergency, Bhutto's assassination, rising food prices and electricity outages have cut his job approval rating to 15% in the latest polls. Most analysts predict a surge in sympathy votes for Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP), but security concerns and a PPP leadership struggle could reduce turnout and undercut this surge. ¶5. (C) If street expectations for a PPP victory are disappointed, many are predicting violence, especially in Bhutto's home province of Sindh. We can work with any of the likely candidates for Prime Minister. But it may take weeks or even months after the election before a new Prime Minister is chosen and Pakistan again has a functional government that can focus on tackling extremism and necessary economic reform. Security Concerns/Army Challenges --------------------------------- ¶6. (C) The January/February bombings in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Rawalpindi have further raised security concerns, especially for political candidates. Suicide bombings were practically unheard of in Pakistan two years ago; in 2007, over 600 people died in suicide attacks attributed to Baitullah Mehsud and other militants. Militants have become increasingly emboldened, attacking police, Army and intelligence targets. The Army was called out to provide additional security during the Islamic month of Muharram and will be deployed in sensitive polling areas during the elections. ¶7. (C) Neither the Army nor the security services would relish the prospect of adding post-election riot control in Sindh to their currently full plate. Military operations in Swat have been reasonably successful, but the Army will likely have to maintain a significant presence there into the spring. In the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), the Army has been working to prevent Sunni-Shia' violence, exacerbated this year by militant involvement. In the Waziristans, the government is encouraging rival tribes to counter the influence of Baitullah Mehsud and his Uzbek recruits. ¶8. (C) The militants continue to control the agenda; the Army's currently limited strategy is one of containment rather than pro-active engagement. Since they cannot defeat ISLAMABAD 00000525 002 OF 002 Mehsud with military action alone, they are renewing negotiations, hoping this time to deal from a greater ground position of strength. Attacks on the Pak-Afghan border are significantly lower than they have been in the past two years, but we are seeing signs that militants are moving back into Afghanistan ahead of the annual spring offensive. ¶9. (C) We are making progress on the Security Development Plan (SDP) for the Frontier Corps, although Musharraf may complain about aid levels. Progress on the tripartite Border Coordination Centers (BCC) has not been quick enough. We will brief you on our FATA development strategy and how the SDP supports livelihood and other programs now being implemented in FATA. Nuclear Weapons --------------- ¶10. (C) Pakistan's leadership is increasingly frustrated over media reports that its nuclear weapons are about to fall into extremist hands. In January, both the Foreign Secretary and General Majid called me in to protest U.S. reports questioning the security of the GOP's nuclear weapons. You will meet with the Director of the Special Plans Division LtGen (ret) Kidwai who, at the Embassy's urging, recently provided briefings to the diplomatic corps and the international press on the organizational structure and personnel controls that safeguard Pakistan's nuclear weapons. As demonstrated by the February 1 test of its Ghauri/Hatf V missile, Pakistan continues development of its missile and nuclear programs as a deterrent to India's conventional force capability. Meeting Agendas --------------- ¶11. (C) Separately, we are providing briefing papers covering our proposals to bring better discipline to CSF, regularize FMF based on a mutual needs assessment, increase IMET opportunities, and launch SOFA negotiations and MOA talks on improving transshipment of fuel and cargo to support U.S. forces in Afghanistan. ¶12. (C) General Majid: You will find Pakistan's Joint Staff a young and weak organization, but CJCS Majid is an excellent interlocutor. The lunch he is hosting will provide an opportunity to deliver our messages on the need for CSF and FMF discipline. ¶13. (S) General Kayani: As expected, Kayani is taking slow but deliberate steps to distance the Army from now civilian President Musharraf. Kayani announced that generals would need his permission to meet the President, issued public statements distancing the Army from civilian politics and is rumored to be considering a decision to remove active duty Army officers from civilian GOP jobs. Kayani also has declared 2008 as the "Year of the Soldier" in an attempt to improve morale. Privately, he has discouraged ISI interference in elections. With Kayani, you should stress the importance of accepting U.S. COIN training and building Pakistani CI capabilities. ¶14. (C) President Musharraf: You will find Musharraf increasingly defensive and unsure of how to reverse his growing unpopularity ahead of parliamentary elections. In your meeting, I would recommend that you ask him to appoint a Pakistani "czar" to coordinate security and development projects in the tribal areas. This coordination will be critical in implementing the USG's $750 million FATA program and supporting DOD's strategy in the tribal areas. Musharraf and Kayani will likely raise slow CSF reimbursement because an economic cash crunch has heightened the GOP's need for CSF payments. The latest $282 million payment should be released in mid-February. He will raise slow delivery of training and equipment to the Frontier Corps. You will want to follow up on some of the specific issues raised by the DNI and the DCIA.