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Viewing cable 06DUSHANBE1464, OLD-GUARD TAJIK MINISTER OF DEFENSE OBSESSES ON NATO,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06DUSHANBE1464 2006-08-01 12:12 2010-12-12 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Dushanbe
VZCZCXRO6970
OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHDBU #1464/01 2131212
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O P 011212Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8260
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 1741
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 1468
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 1686
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 1725
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 1682
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHMFISS/HQ USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 1664
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1263
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE PRIORITY 1712
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE 9579
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSHANBE 001464 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EUR/RUS, EUR/CARC, PM, S/P 

EO 12958 DECL:  8/1/2016 
TAGS PGOV, PREL, MARR, GG, RS, TI 
SUBJECT: OLD-GUARD TAJIK MINISTER OF DEFENSE OBSESSES ON NATO, 
GEORGIA
DUSHANBE 00001464 001.2 OF 002

CLASSIFIED BY: Richard E. Hoagland, Ambassador, Embassy Dushanbe, State Department. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1. (C) SUMMARY: The Ambassador endured a three-hour-plus one-on-one lunch August 1 with Tajikistan’s Minister of Defense Sherali Khairulloyev. Apart from the general conversation, the minister apologized for previous mil-mil relations that didn’t meet expectations; harped repeatedly on NATO, Georgia, and Saakashvili; and asserted the Shanghai Cooperation Organization must become a military bloc to face down NATO. By the end of the alcohol-sodden lunch, the minister was slurring and unsteady on his feet. We suspect President Rahmonov ordered the minister to host this farewell lunch. While it was rather unusual in many respects, we believe it helped place another brick in the wall of U.S.-Tajikistan military relations. END SUMMARY

2. (C) Defense Minister Khairulloyev apologized several times for “misunderstandings and missed opportunities” in the past in U.S.-Tajik military relations. He asserted repeatedly that he expects an increasingly smooth and productive relationship. He said he has come to understand Tajikistan must have a number of equal partners, not just one [Russia], if it is to propser.

3. (C) Minister Khairulloyev returned several times to NATO and Georgia. He repeatedly asked, “Why does NATO want a country like Georgia? Even the Warsaw Pact didn’t subsume losers!” He asked if NATO will improve Georgia’s “hopeless” economy. He asked why the United States “indulges the adolescent” President Saakashvili. The only possibly explanation, he asserted, is to “stick your finger in Moscow’s eye.” He added, “When Stalin created the Georgian Socialist Republic, he threw in Abkhazia and South Ossetia because Georgians on their own were a `fly speck.’ Without Abhkazia and South Ossetia,” he alleged, “Georgia has no hope of existing.”

4. (C) Khairulloyev volunteered that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has to develop to become a military bloc “with one-third of the world’s population” to face down NATO. The Ambassador asked why Russia and the former Soviet republics view NATO as an enemy. Khairulloyev hoisted himself up and declared, “When the Warsaw Bloc disintergrated, of course a new bloc emerged for world domination. That’s the historical dialectic. It’s now time to confront NATO.”

COLOR

5. (C) This lunch took place in Minister Khairulloyev’s private dining room off his recently renovated private office. He emphasized that he seldom receives guests in his private office and, especially, that only one other ambassador had ever dined in his private dining room - former Russian Ambassador Maksim Peshkov.

6. (C) The Ambassador lost track of the toasts after the tenth.  His shot-glass held vodka. The minister’s high-ball glass was kept filled with un-cut Scotch. Late into the lunch, the minister was slurring badly and was not walking a straight line.  Nevertheless, as the Ambassador kept attempting a gracious retreat, the Minister insisted on showing him “secret rooms” in the ministry. Each “secret room” was merely another public conference room with a large fresh flower display and - again and again - another round of toasts set out.

COMMENT

6. (C) This bizarre event was curious, because U.S.-Tajik military relations have incrementally been improving, especially with the National Guard, but also with the Russia-centric Ministry of Defense. Khairulloyev continues to make clear he
DUSHANBE 00001464 002.2 OF 002
serves at the pleasure of President Rahmonov and may be replaced after the November presidential election. Although this drunk-fest is how many old-guard former Soviets do mutual business, it was most unusual for an American guest. It was, to a degree, a mark of respect. We would not be surprised if President Rahmonov had ordered Khairulloyev to “do something for the departing Ambassador,” and we rather wonder if this may have been a sort of valedictory by an old-guard security minister who suspects his days of service are numbered. Whatever, we were pleased to have drunk Khairulloyev well under the table. END COMMENT. HOAGLAND