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Viewing cable 06MADRID2335, SPAIN: MOD POLICY DIRECTOR ON NCIS/OSI,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MADRID2335 2006-09-15 16:04 2010-12-08 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Madrid
VZCZCXRO4771
PP RUEHLA
DE RUEHMD #2335 2581657
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 151657Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0773
INFO RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA 2081
C O N F I D E N T I A L MADRID 002335

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/15/2016
TAGS: PREL MARR SP LE AF
SUBJECT: SPAIN: MOD POLICY DIRECTOR ON NCIS/OSI,
AFGHANISTAN, AND LEBANON

Classified By: Charge Hugo Llorens for reasons 1.4 (b) & (d).

1. (C/NF) Charge paid an introductory call on MOD Secretary
General for Policy Admiral Francisco Torrente on September
15. Charge told Torrente that the US deeply appreciates the
hospitality and use of Spanish bases, as well as the strong
foundation that the military-military relationship provides
to the overall bilateral relationship. Torrente said that
Spain is well aware that it is not the military equal of the
US and that, because the relationship is necessarily unequal,
Spain appreciates being acknowledged for its basing and other
contributions to the defense relationship with close
attention to form and public appearances.

2. (C/NF) On the NCIS/OSI issue, Torrente emphasized that the
GOS doesn't disagree with the DOD concept of force protection
and doesn't want to restrict NCIS/OSI activities - it just
wants to be involved in these activities from the start. He
said that he believes that NCIS/OSI is not carrying out
illegal activities, so there would be no reason for the GOS
to prohibit any activity. Torrente said that NCIS/OSI is a
tricky issue for the GOS, particularly because the press has
mixed up NCIS/OSI with the CIA flights issues, and because
radical parties that are the governing Socialist party's
legislative partners in Parliament can be hard to control.
Torrente acknowledged that the US may think that he is being
stubborn on this issue, but they have to understand that he
represents the GOS position. He said that he is glad that
the USG has finally settled on an appropriate interlocutor
(NOTE: DASD Dan Fata recently met with Torrente) and that he
looks forward to seeing the small changes that OSD will
propose to the current negotiating draft.

3. (C/NF) In response to Charge's questions about the
possibility that Spain could do more to support the NATO
mission in Afghanistan, Torrente listed a number of the
projects that Spain is working on in the area of its
Provincial Reconstruction Team, including road building,
paving the runway, distributing radios and broadcasting
programs to the local population, and providing medical care.
He said that he agreed with General Jones that more troops
are needed but said that the ISAF mission can't be
accomplished by eight nations alone, so other European
countries need to contribute. Torrente agreed with Secretary
Rice's call to attack drug production at its roots, noting
that it would be a long-term project. He expects Spanish
troops to be in Afghanistan for 15-20 years.

4. (C/NF) Similarly, Torrente said that Spain expects to be
in Lebanon for a long time, and therefore other European
allies would need to rotate their troops in to support the
UNIFIL mission. He specifically mentioned the Poles and
their prior UNIFIL experience. Torrente also mentioned that
while UNSCR 1701 is important, it doesn't fully address the
issue of Hizballah, which is both a terrorist organization
and part of the government. Torrente also talked about
Spain's engagement with Syria, with whom he said Spain has
good relations, and Iran, with which he said that relations
were better under previous President Khatami.
LLORENS