07ASTANA2581, Kazakhstan Moves Cautiously Toward KAZBRIG Deployment;

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA2581 2007-09-18 23:32 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO1173
RR RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHBZ RUEHCI RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHTA #2581/01 2612332
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 182332Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0711
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY
RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 002581 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL KPKO UNSC MASS KZ
 
SUBJECT:  Kazakhstan Moves Cautiously Toward KAZBRIG Deployment; 
Requesting U.S. Guidance 
 
REF: A) ASTANA 1808 B) STATE 90022 
 
ASTANA 00002581  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
 
1. (SBU) Summary:  The Government of Kazakhstan (GOK) has indicated 
that it is ready to commit units from its light infantry brigade, 
"KAZBRIG" to an overseas Peace Support Operation (PSO).  An official 
announcement is expected after the details of the deployment 
(location, command and control ((C2)) relationships, timing, size, 
and support) have been determined.   GOK Air Mobile Forces (AMF) has 
discreetly requested U.S. input into their planning process and is 
seeking U.S. advice in determining these details.  Five areas of 
operation are being considered: Afghanistan,Darfur/Sudan, Kosovo, 
Lebanon, Iraq.  AMF has asked that U.S. officials keep this 
information in confidence until the GOK has made an official 
announcement of its intentions.  End summary. 
 
------------- 
ANNOUNCEMENT 
------------- 
 
2. (U) While speaking on camera with the British Defense Attach 
(DATT) during Steppe Eagle 2007 opening ceremonies, Chief of Defense 
(ChoD) and former MinDef, General of the Army Mukhtar Altynbayev 
publicly stated that Kazakhstan is ready to commit to deploying 
troops in support of PSOs.  Steppe Eagle is a bilateral GOK-UK 
military exercise in which U.S. forces also participate.  The goal 
of the exercise is to prepare a cadre of GOK military forces for 
PSOs.  The opening ceremony, which was covered by television and 
mass-media, took place on 10 September 2007, on the Illiskii 
Training Area, northwest of the city of Almaty. 
 
3. (SBU) Following Altynbayev's public comments, General-Major (U.S. 
equivalent: Brigadier General) Murat Maikeyev, Commander AMF, told 
U.S. Air Attach that more information, as well as a request for 
U.S. input, would be forthcoming.  This came during a teleconference 
between U.S. DATT and a senior member of the AMF planning staff (and 
confidant of Gen Maikeyev) on 12 September. 
 
----------- 
BACKGROUND 
----------- 
 
4. (SBU) This announcement follows several months of intense 
discussion within the AMF resulting in a clear understanding that 
KAZBRIG must deploy in the very near future.  For the past two 
years, General-Major Maikeyev, has been receiving guidance from U.S. 
and UK DATTs.  In March 2007, with their inputs, Maikeyev put the 
final touches on a proposal for the MinDef, stating that KAZBRIG 
needed to deploy.  Maikeyev told the U.S. DATT that he would need 
six months to bring his plan to fruition (which coincided nicely 
with the Steppe Eagle Exercise). 
 
----------- 
MOTIVATION 
----------- 
 
5.(SBU) GOK and AMF need to deploy KAZBRIG for three reasons; First, 
a deployment would improve KAZBRIG morale and troop retention.  In 
the past, KAZBRIG has had difficulty retaining enough trained 
soldiers to remain effective due to low morale, and many of the 
soldiers which have received military and language training from the 
US and UK have left the unit; Second, President Nazarbayev has 
declared that Kazakhstan will participate in global (preferably UN) 
humanitarian/PSOs; Third, U.S. and UK have made it clear to GOK that 
deploying KAZBRIG to a meaningful mission and location is one of the 
primary reasons that they are receiving military training and 
equipment. 
 
-------------------------- 
LOCATION & C2 RELATIONSHIPS 
---------------------------- 
 
6. (SBU) AMF is considering five deployment locations listed in 
approximate order of preference; Afghanistan,Darfur/Sudan, Kosovo,}QQQj=JQQqda['Qeployment to a Provisional Reconstruction Team (PRT) in a 
relatively secure part of Afghanistan may be its best fit.  AMF will 
deploy an entirely inexperienced light infantry company for the 
first time.  It desires a deployment to a less dangerous location, 
and does not believe sending additional forces to Iraq would be in 
its best interest.  AMF explained that Kosovo is probably not 
politically acceptable to the GOK due to differences between the 
U.S. and Russia over its future (the GOK does not want to be seen as 
playing toward one side or the other).  AMF liked certain aspects of 
both the Darfur/Sudan and Lebanon scenarios, however, it wants to 
deploy where the operational language will be English, not French. 
The KAZBRIG has invested heavily in English-laaM0(Qcapability to use.  It also 
wants to deploy to an 
 
ASTANA 00002581  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
area where it can benefit from U.S. assistance, and is concerned 
that this might be more difficult if it were to deploy under French 
leadership. 
 
--------------- 
TIMING & SIZE 
--------------- 
 
7. (SBU) AMF would like to deploy a platoon sized force (approx. 35 
troops) by mid-2008.  It expects to increase this to a company sized 
unit (approx. 102 troops) shortly thereafter.  The goal is to use 
one of the eventual three infantry battalions of the KAZBRIG to ke
ep 
a light infantry company in constant rotation by the end of 2009. 
 
---------------------------- 
U.S., NATO, or U.N. SUPPORT 
---------------------------- 
8. (SBU) AMF is seeking information about available funds to assist 
their forces to deploy to a PSO.  They are interested in information 
on U.S., NATO, and U.N. financial and logistical support, as well as 
predeployment training programs, and will include availability of 
this support into their decision making process. 
 
----------------------- 
REQUEST FOR U.S. INPUT 
------------------------ 
 
9. (SBU) AMF has discreetly requested U.S. input into their planning 
process and is seeking the advice of U.S. government agencies, and 
U.S. delegations to international agencies, in determining the 
details of the deployment.  Post requests that this information be 
consolidated for reply and submission at a later date. 
 
------------------------------------- 
EXPECTAION THAT INFORMATION BE KEPT IN U.S. CONFIDENCE 
------------------------------------- 
 
10. (SBU) In requesting U.S. input into their planning process, AMF 
has asked that U.S. officials keep this information in confidence. 
AMF is working to determine the details of a proposal that they will 
submit to the GOK approval, and they cannot commit their leadership 
to a course of action before a final decision has been made.  They 
understand that various U.S. agencies and delegations (NATO, U.N. 
etc.) will be brought into the discussion, but they have 
specifically requested that discussion of the specifics of this 
deployment be limited to the U.S. government.  They request that it 
not be brought up in any concrete manner to coalition partners or 
announced in any public forum until after the GOK makes an official 
public announcement of its intentions.  We assured AMF that the U.S. 
government would honor this request.

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