07ASTANA3287, KAZAKHSTAN BORDER GUARDS VISIT U.S.

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA3287 2007-12-11 09:30 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO8577
PP RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHTA #3287/01 3450930
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 110930Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1336
RUCNCLS/SCA COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC 0001
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 003287 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INL (SNYDER, BUHLER); SCA/CEN (OMARA), ISN/ECC 
(HARTSHORNE), SCA/RA 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR KCRM KCOR PREL KZ
 
SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN BORDER GUARDS VISIT U.S. 
 
 
1.  Summary:  From October 29 to November 7, General-Major (one star 
equivalent) Berkaliyev, the First Deputy Director of the Kazakhstani 
Border Guard Service (BGS), visited Washington, Miami, and Texas to 
familiarize USG officials with his strategy for the development of 
the BGS and to learn about USG methods of border security and for 
providing in-service training to officers.  During the visit, 
discussions moved forward on future cooperation between the USG and 
GOK; possible establishment of a regional training center for 
Central Asia in Almaty on the grounds of the Border Guard Academy; 
and a request to send two or three Kazakhstani border guards for 
basic training at specialized CBP Academies in El Paso, Arizona and 
Glynco, Georgia.  General-Major Berkaliyev extended an invitation to 
David Aguilar, Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, to visit Kazakhstan. 
 End Summary. 
 
----------- 
BACKGROUND 
----------- 
2. Over the past several years, the Kazakhstani Border Guard Service 
(BGS) has aimed to strengthen its border to better fight 
transnational crime, illegal migration, and the trafficking of drugs 
and other contraband.  Kazakhstan shares its approximately 15,000 km 
border with Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and China. 
In total there are 142 border guard checkpoints out of which only 92 
are fully functioning.  Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, 
new national borders were created.  While the historical borders of 
the former USSR were equipped and able to function, the internal 
borders between the former Soviet republics were merely 
administrative and many citizens were not aware of the locations of 
what would become national borders.  As was the case in many of the 
newly-independent nations, Kazakhstan was not ready to protect all 
of its borders after independence.  Poor infrastructure, 
insufficient numbers of border guards, new legislation, and poor 
living conditions for personnel in the field all contributed to this 
problem. 
 
3. Currently, delimitation issues with neighboring countries have 
been solved and the BGS is in the process of placing markers on the 
border and creating border posts.  In the framework of the 2006-2010 
program of border and BGS development, the BGS is constructing posts 
on the border and purchasing equipment and vehicles. 
 
4.  With the aim of developing its infrastructure and improving the 
professional potential of its service, the BGS is pursuing bilateral 
and multilateral cooperation.  USG programs are managed by offices 
of Export Control and Border Security (EXBS) program, the Defense 
Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Military Cooperation (OMC) and 
International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL). 
 
5. As part the Mission Strategic Plan, INL proposed creating a 
professional relationship between the Border Guard Services of the 
U.S. and Kazakhstan.  In 2006, INL Assistant Secretary Anne 
Patterson and Ambassador Ordway invited the management of the BGS to 
visit the U.S.  The BGS expressed interest in meeting to discuss 
overall strategy, main threats on the border, and present problems 
and needs.   INL thus organized Berkayliyev's October 2007 trip to 
the U.S., including an interagency roundtable in Washington to meet 
with the delegation,  and visits to the U.S. Coast Guard in Miami, 
Florida and the Rio Grande Valley Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol 
in McAllen, Texas. 
 
---------- 
WASHINGTON 
---------- 
 
6.  The visit of General-Major Khussain Berkaliyev, Lieutenant 
Colonel Yevgeniy Trofimenko, and Major Yesbulat Kussainov began in 
Washington with meetings at the Department of State, the Pentagon, 
and Customs and Border Protection.  During the roundtable held on 
October 30, representatives of the Departments of State, Defense, 
and Homeland Security discussed the results of their programs and 
future plans with General-Major Berkaliyev. 
 
7.  Monette Melanson from the Department of Defense raised problems 
on behalf of DTRA including insufficient access to the border.  In 
response to this issue and problems working with some parts of the 
BGS, Berkaliyev stated that the roundtable had prompted him to 
appoint one individual in the International Relations Department of 
the BGS to work on each program to increase transparency and 
increase the effectiveness of cooperation with the international 
community. 
 
8.  Berkaliyev said that the BGS is now focused on new methods for 
controlling the border - to use less physical force and substitute 
it with new technologies.  Thirty percent of the border is in 
desolate areas with severe climate conditions.  He stated that it is 
 
ASTANA 00003287  002 OF 003 
 
 
necessary to use night-vision aviation and unmanned aerial vehicles 
to monitor the area.  The possibility of usi
ng satellite-based 
intelligence is at the top of the BGS' list of priorities.  The BGS 
is also switching to mobile patrols to control portions of the 
border.  He is interested in other countries' experience in training 
personnel for mobile patrols. 
 
8.  In following up on the May visit of General-Major Yelubayev, 
head of the Committee for National Security's Military Institute 
(the main training academy for the BGS),  Berkaliyev asked about the 
progress of proposals to create a student exchange program and 
establishing the Regional Border Guard Training Center at the 
Military Institute.  During Yelubayev's visit, professional 
cooperation between USG and GOK training academies, possible 
establishment of a regional training center for border guards of 
Central Asia, and the possibility of sending two Kazakhstani border 
guards for basic training at the CBP Academy in Glynco, Georgia were 
discussed.  Yelubayev also invited the head of the U.S. Border 
Patrol Academy in Artesia to visit Kazakhstan (septel). 
 
9.  At CBP, Berkaliyev met with David Aguilar, Chief of the U.S. 
Border Patrol, and Tom Walters, Assistant Commissioner for Training 
and Development.  Both assured Berkaliyev of continued cooperation 
with the Military Institute and the BGS.  Aguilar presented an 
overview of training, operations, and the successes and failures of 
the U.S. Border Patrol. He thanked Berkaliyev for the warm reception 
received by Charles Whitmire, head of the U.S. Border Patrol 
Academy, in Kazakhstan and Berkaliyev extended an invitation to 
Aguilar to come to Kazakhstan.  (Note:  Whitmire's visit did much to 
strengthen the relationship between the training academies and a 
visit by Aguilar would be a welcome step in further strengthening 
the relationship between the BGS and CBP. End Note.)  Whitmire and 
Yelubayev agreed to send two graduates of the Military Institute to 
U.S. Border Patrol Academy for basic training.  Walters and Aguilar 
confirmed CBP's commitment to support this proposal. 
 
10.  Berkaliyev discussed the establishment of the Regional Training 
Center for Border Guards at the Military Institute with Assistant 
Secretary of Defense for Global Security Joe Benkert and INL Deputy 
 
SIPDIS 
Assistant Secretary Charles Snyder, who both supported the idea. 
The Military Institute will need to grow to meet the requirements of 
the BGS.  Currently there are approximately 30,000 border guards in 
Kazakhstan and the BGS is planning to increase that amount to 
100,000.  The Military Institute has trained cadets from Kyrgyzstan 
and Tajikistan.  Mongolia has also expressed interest in training 
its cadets at the Military Institute. 
 
11.  The BGS already has experience in hosting international 
students at its Canine Center in Almaty.  At the end of the 1980s, 
the Central USSR Canine Center was established in Almaty and border 
guards from throughout the USSR received training in Almaty.  In 
2007, the EU-funded Border Management and Drug Action Program 
(BOMCA) conducted three-month K-9 training for border guards from 
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan in Almaty. 
 
12.  INL Astana will continue to support training classes for border 
guards in Regional Training Centers in various regions of 
Kazakhstan.  In 2006, INL funded the renovation and equipping of a 
classroom in Saryagash. The classroom will be used as a training 
center for personnel working on the Uzbek border.  The equipment 
provided, such as computers, presentation devices, and furniture, 
allows for different types of training, including training on the 
Berkut centralized electronic registration system.  Berkaliyev 
mentioned that the opening of training centers in the oblasts 
enhances sustainability of the BGS and allows for on-the-job 
training of more border guards.  INL DAS Snyder assured Berkaliyev 
that INL will continue to support the opening of classrooms 
throughout Kazakhstan.  The next classroom will be opened in Eastern 
Kazakhstan, which will allow for training of personnel working both 
on the border with China and Russia. 
 
13.  When ASD Joe Benkert asked about the most serious problems 
faced by the BGS, Berkaliyev answered that the most vulnerable areas 
are the borders with Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and the Caspian Sea. 
He added that the GOK has a good relationship both with Uzbekistan 
and Kyrgyzstan and that they face the threats of terrorism and 
narco-traffic. 
 
14.  During his meeting with Deputy Assistant Secretary for South 
and Central Asian Affairs Evan Feigenbaum, Berkaliyev shared the 
problems that Kazakhstani law-enforcement encounters in the fight 
against drugs.  While all law enforcement agencies are tasked with 
combating drugs, there is not sufficient coordination among the 
agencies.  Fights over seizure statistics are a common occurrence 
within the GOK.  Another problem mentioned by Berkaliyev was 
corruption, though he also stated that corruption in law enforcement 
 
ASTANA 00003287  003 OF 003 
 
 
agencies has recently been uncovered through the GOK's 
anti-corruption program. 
 
----- 
MIAMI 
----- 
 
15.  During the visit to the U.S. Coast Guard in Miami, the 
delegation had an opportunity to tour a cutter and discuss the 
differences and similarities of the work of the Coast Guard and the 
BGS.   Coast Guard officials described daily operations to the 
delegation and its duties in the areas of national defense, counter 
narcotics, marine security and safety, protection of natural 
resources, and waterways management.  Berkaliyev explained that the 
BGS implements laws and regulations relative to defense and control 
of the state border, provides assistance to law enforcement, and 
protects natural resources in the border area. Kazakhstan's main 
priority is fighting poaching in the Caspian Sea.  The delegation 
was particularly interested in the pay system and possibilities for 
career advancement in the Coast Guard. 
 
----- 
TEXAS 
----- 
 
16.  Representatives of the Public Affairs Office of Rio Grande 
Valley Sector showed the delegation the daily operations of U.S. 
Border Patrol agents.  Berkaliyev and the delegation were interested 
to see the high-quality, modern equipment used by the Border Patrol, 
especially the video surveillance system.  The delegation 
immediately understood the importance of intelligence analysis in 
addition to patrolling to increases the rates of drug seizures and 
arrests of illegal migrants. 
 
17.  Following presentations by the heads of the U.S. Border Patrol 
Search, Trauma and Rescue Team (BORSTAR) and Special Response Team 
(SRT), Berkaliyev asked about the possibility of sending his border 
guards to the BORSTAR Academy in El Paso, Arizona and BORTAC Academy 
in Glynco, Georgia to learn more about the training system.  While 
it may take some time to receive funds for such training, t
he Border 
Guard Service has requested INL to provide training for BGS SWAT 
teams in Kazakhstan. 
 
18.  The system of border control in the U.S. definitely caught the 
attention of the Kazakhstani delegation.  Berkaliyev is very 
interested in increasing international programs.  He was also 
interested in the BORSTAR and BORTAC programs and would like to 
establish a unit similar to BORSTAR in the BGS.  According to 
Berkaliyev, the BGS will focus on the development of its personnel 
and increasing the knowledge and skills of border guards through 
exchange programs. 
 
19.  Comment.  This visit was another important step in developing 
the relationship between the BGS and its counterparts in the USG. 
General-Major Berkaliyev's returned home with many ideas for 
reforming and modernizing the BGS and its training methods.  The USG 
has an opportunity now to work with both Berkaliyev and Yelubayev to 
strengthen the BGS and provide it the necessary tools to be a leader 
in fighting transnational crime in Central Asia.  End Comment. 
 
 
20.  Chief Aguilar, Assistant Commissioner Walters, DAS Snyder, and 
DAS Feigenbaum have not cleared this cable. 
 
ORDWAY

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