08ASTANA2297, KAZAKHSTAN: MINISTRY OF DEFENSE REQUESTS

WikiLeaks Link

To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.
Discussing cables
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. #08ASTANA2297.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08ASTANA2297 2008-11-24 08:19 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7712
PP RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLH RUEHNP RUEHPW RUEHROV
RUEHSR
DE RUEHTA #2297/01 3290819
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 240819Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3897
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY 0832
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0231
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0941
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFAAA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY 0399
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY 0314
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 2399
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 2067

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ASTANA 002297 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR SCA/CEN, PM 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/24/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL MARR AF KZ
SUBJECT:  KAZAKHSTAN:  MINISTRY OF DEFENSE REQUESTS 
ENHANCED HIGH-LEVEL TRAINING 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland:  1.4 (B), (D) 
 
1.  (SBU) SUMMARY:  The Ambassador called on Minister of 
Defense Akhmetov and, separately, Deputy Minister of Defense 
General Sembinov on November 19.  The two meetings illustrate 
the generally sound U.S.-Kazakhstan military relationship, 
but they also illustrate Kazakhstan's multi-vector foreign 
policy that balances its interests among the major powers. 
Although the Minister himself is said to be strongly 
pro-Russian, so far Deputy Minister Sembinov has often been 
able to go around him through influential contacts in the 
Presidential Administration (including the Security Council) 
and the Parliament.  A masterful infighter like Sembinov is 
vital to Western interests.  Our goal should be to meet fully 
our existing commitments and to continue to seek new 
openings.  We should respond with enhanced budgets to the 
high-level military training that Minister Akhmetov says he 
seeks and that Deputy Minister Sembinov supports.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
MINISTER OF DEFENSE DANIAL AKHMETOV 
 
2.  (C) The Ambassador, accompanied by the Defense Attache, 
called on the sometimes elusive and allegedly pro-Russian 
Minister of Defense, Daniyal Akhmetov, on November 19.  The 
Minister welcomed the Ambassador and accentuated our 
strategic partnership, especially in the military assistance 
that, since Kazakhstan's independence, has totaled about $80 
million in military equipment and training.  He described the 
bilateral military relationship as positive and vowed it 
would continue to grow.  The Ambassador thanked Akhmetov for 
his positive evaluation and predicted the bilateral 
relationship would indeed continue to grow in positive 
directions as we strengthen our strategic partnership.  He 
thanked the Minister for Kazakhstan's five-year participation 
in Iraq and congratulated him for the positive Steppe Eagle 
NATO evaluation.  He told the Minister that part of his role 
is to help Washington better understand Kazakhstan and, thus, 
would welcome hearing the Minister's priorities for enhancing 
the U.S.-Kazakhstan military-to-military relationship. 
 
BILATERAL COOPERATION PRIORITIES 
 
3.  (C) Minister Akhmetov listed three priorities: 
 
-- He said he seeks military education for higher-ranking 
officers, since Kazakhstan's new military doctrine requires a 
new type of officer with higher-level training, at least at 
the level of the U.S. National Defense University.  He noted 
Kazakhstan is introducing a new C4I system (command, control, 
communications, computers, intelligence) but lacks trained 
personnel and would like to look to the United States for 
this training. 
 
-- He requested continued assistance for Peace Support 
Operation capabilities, especially for a second KAZBRIG 
battalion within 1.5 years, rather than the five years it 
took for the first battalion. 
 
-- He asked for higher-level training at the strategic, 
operational, and even tactical planning levels, especially 
for General Officers and other high-level MOD personnel, with 
a focus on best practices learned from the best armies in the 
world. 
 
4.  (C) The Ambassador praised Minister Akhmetov's priorities 
and suggested that training should also include Kazakhstan's 
participation in CHOD conferences and Kazakhstan hosting 
joint expercises, which, although the Ambassador did not 
dwell on the point, Kazakhstan this year had failed to 
accept.  He said when militaries train together, their men 
and women become comrades-in-arms; politics falls by the 
wayside. 
 
NORTHERN DISTRIBUTION NETWORK FOR AFGHANISTAN 
 
5.  (SBU) The Ambassador also briefly touched on the 
 
ASTANA 00002297  002 OF 003 
 
 
possiblity of a greater role for Kazakhstan in Afghanistan, 
and previewed the November 21 visit by TRANSCOM CDR General 
Duncan McNabb, and the role Kazakhstan could play for 
stability in Afghanistan and the region by agreeing to the 
U.S. request to transit lon-lethal supplies to Afghanistan 
through Kazakhstan's existing commercial structures.  The 
Minister replied negotiations with NATO for this purpose are 
already well advanced, and he would foresee no problem for 
the United States to establish a northern distribution 
network through Kazakhstan. 
 
6.  (C) COMMENT:  Though restrained, Minister Akhmetov was 
professional throughout this meeting with the Ambassador and, 
at times, almost cordial.  His priorities for
 training would 
suggest the need for a significantly enhanced IMET budget. 
END COMMENT. 
 
DEPUTY MINISTER BULAT SEMBINOV 
 
7.  (SBU) The Ambassador then met separately with the 
pro-Western Deputy Minister of Defense, General Bulat 
Sembinov, who was the most senior Kazakhstani official to 
have attended, with his wife, the Embassy's Marine Corps Ball 
on November 1.  The Ambassador noted they had already met 
several times before but emphasized he wanted to show his 
respect with an initial formal meeting.  He briefly reviewed 
his meeting with Minister Akhmetov, noted with satisfaction 
President-elect Barak Obama's telephone conversation with 
President Nursultan Nazarbayev (which Kazakhstan's mass media 
had widely and positively reported), and asked for General 
Sembinov's analysis of our military-to-military relationship. 
 
8.  (C) Relaxed and loquacious, General Sembinov praised 
joint U.S.-Kazakhstan work in threat reduction and 
counterterrorism.  He judged Kazakhstan's experience in Iraq 
"had been an education, and we passed the exam.  Our 
experience there will soon be needed in Afghanistan."  Noting 
his longstanding progressive positions, he emphasized 
Kazakhstan's priorities are to continue cooperation with NATO 
(including the Individual Partnership Action Plan), with 
OSCE, and to fulfill Kazakhstan's new policy of "The Path to 
Europe." 
 
9.  (C) As priorities for the bilateral military 
relationship, he listed Peace Support Operations (as did 
Minister Akhmetov), development of Kazakhstan's military 
aviation capabilities, military education, development of an 
NCO Corps ("not an easy task," he admitted), and security in 
the Caspian region.  General Sembinov urged further 
integration of our military-technical programs, with a focus 
on transitioning to high-quality new standards.  As 
military-technical priorities, he listed Huey IIs, C-130s, 
and naval vessels for the Caspian. 
 
10.  (C) Deputy Minister General Sembinov noted Kazakhstan 
drafted its military doctrine with U.S. assistance, the only 
military doctrine in the Former Soviet Union that states 
explicitly transition to NATO standards and the possibility 
of participation in NATO operations.  He stated firmly, "I am 
a firm believer in the axiom, 'if you say it, then you need 
to do it.'  Open discussions make cooperation possible." 
 
11.  (C) The Ambassador thanked the Deputy Minister for his 
comments and added "if you say it, you will do it" is U.S. 
foreign policy.  The United States might sometimes be 
frustratingly slow, but we are indeed a nation of our word. 
We are pragmatic and look for real solutions when we 
encounter problems.  He said he understood Kazakhstan needed 
to move cautiously on a larger role in Afghanistan but 
emphasized that such cooperation would be historic and fully 
in line with Kazakhstan's international leadership in the 
political realm, as evidenced by its planned chairmanship of 
the OSCE in 2010.  He noted with approval Sembinov's mention 
of building Kazakhstan's air capabilities because the AFCENT 
Commander would like to visit Kazakhstan for consultations 
early in the new year. 
 
 
ASTANA 00002297  003 OF 003 
 
 
12.  (SBU) The Ambassador quipped to General Sembinov that it 
looks as if we are going to keep the U.S. Embassy's Defense 
Attache busy in the coming years.  General Sembinov commented 
he had been surprised to learn (from the Ambassador's 
extended interview in "Liter") that he had never served in 
the military.  Sembinov mused, "You strike me as a former 
military officer." 
 
13.  (C) COMMENT:  These two meetings illustrate the 
generally sound U.S.-Kazakhstan military relationship, but 
they also illustrate Kazakhstan's multi-vector foreign policy 
that balances its interests among the major powers.  Although 
the Minister himself is said to be strongly pro-Russian, so 
far Deputy Minister Sembinov has often been able to go around 
him through influential contacts in the Presidential 
Administration (including the Security Council) and the 
Parliament.  A masterful infighter like Sembinov is vital to 
Western interests.  Our goal should be to meet fully our 
existing commitments and to continue to seek new openings. 
We should respond with enhanced budgets to the high-level 
military training that Minister Akhmetov says he seeks.  END 
COMMENT. 
HOAGLAND

Wikileaks

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: