Keep Us Strong WikiLeaks logo

Currently released so far... 2497 / 251,287

Articles

Browse latest releases

Browse by creation date

Browse by origin

A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Browse by tag

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
QA
YE YM YI

Browse by classification

Community resources

courage is contagious

Viewing cable 08STATE63686, U.S.-ICELAND SECURITY DIALOGUE MEETING, APRIL 30

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:
  • The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.
  • The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
  • The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.
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. #08STATE63686.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08STATE63686 2008-06-12 20:08 2011-01-13 05:05 CONFIDENTIAL Secretary of State
VZCZCXYZ0002
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #3686 1642053
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 122043Z JUN 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHRK/AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK 0000
INFO RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC 0000
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 0000
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
C O N F I D E N T I A L STATE 063686 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/12/2018 
TAGS: IC NATO PGOV PREL
SUBJECT: U.S.-ICELAND SECURITY DIALOGUE MEETING, APRIL 30 
 
Classified By: Kurt Volker, Acting, EUR, Department of State. 
Reason 1.4 (b) and (d) 
 
 
1. (C) Summary.  U.S. and Icelandic officials April 30 
reviewed Iceland,s defense developments and bilateral 
security cooperation at working-level Security Dialogue 
meetings in Washington, D.C.  Iceland previewed creation of 
the Icelandic Defense Agency this year, its plan to host a 
high-level NATO seminar on the High North in January 2009, 
and NATO air policing, just begun with a French deployment at 
Keflavik.  Representatives from the Department of Defense, 
Department of State, FBI, and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) 
discussed ongoing and potential areas for cooperation with 
Icelandic representatives from the Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs, Ministry of Justice and from the Prime Minister,s 
Office.  Iceland offered to host follow-on discussions in 
Reykjavik next year. End Summary. 
 
Iceland,s New Defense Agency 
---------------------------- 
 
2. (C) Delegation Head, Ambassador and Director of the 
Icelandic MFA Defense Department Ambassador Thorir Ibsen said 
that the June launch of the Icelandic Defense Agency was 
intended to consolidate all defense-related matters formerly 
found in offices throughout the MFA into a single agency. 
The Defense Agency will be subordinate to the MFA's Defense 
Department and will execute Iceland,s defense activities 
while the Defense Department continues in its policy role. 
The Agency will serve as a framework for approaching issues 
related to security changes in the High North and will be 
responsible for operation of the Icelandic Air Defense System 
(IADS) radars and Iceland,s participation in NATO. 
 
3. (C) Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister Sturla 
Sigurjonsson said the government will spend the next 3-4 
years on coordination of the Defense Agency and after that on 
its evolution.  Prior to the establishment of the Agency, 
there was no legal basis for the Icelandic government to 
perform any defense-related operations.  Director of Police 
and Judicial Affairs at the Ministry of Justice Thorunn 
Hafstein said that creation of the Defense Agency was an 
important legal step that would offer the MOJ greater 
opportunities than ever before for coordination on Police, 
Coast Guard and search and rescue. 
 
Air Policing Cooperation 
------------------------ 
 
4. (C) Ibsen welcomed the upcoming U.S. deployment for 
Northern Viking air policing exercises set for September. 
Norway recently sent a team to provide air traffic control 
training in advance of the exercises.  OSD Policy Office 
Director Todd Harvey said the United States is looking 
forward to the Northern Viking deployment and said DOD wants 
to foster closer cooperation and to enhance interoperability 
with a focus on IADS radar, air policing, and exercises.  DOD 
noted that the final planning conference for Northern Viking 
will take place in Keflavik June 25-26. 
 
Radar Upgrades and Spare Parts Pricing 
-------------------------------------- 
 
5. (C) Ibsen reported that FM Gisladottir had discussed IADS 
upgrades with DOD U/S Edelman when she met with him during 
her April 11 visit to Washington.  OSD Todd Harvey said that 
U/S Edelman had recommended that Iceland seek NATO funding 
for upgrades through its security and investment program. 
Ibsen said that Iceland would support such an effort but was 
not willing to lead it, instead asking that the U.S. lead. 
Regarding pricing for spare parts Iceland wants to purchase 
to maintain existing IADS radar, Harvey noted that the 
overriding goal is to preserve the radars as fully 
functioning and able to serve their purpose.  He said OSD was 
nearing the end of a pricing review for spare parts and hoped 
soon to have a final price.  Ibsen emphasized the importance 
of coming to a conclusion as quickly as possible. 
 
Coast Guard Cooperation 
------------------------- 
 
6. (C) MOJ,s Hafstein pointed to the rapid increase in 
vessels transiting the region combined with dangerous sea 
conditions as a strong motivation for Iceland to pursue 
cooperation with the USCG.  The traffic increase heightens 
the need for search and rescue (SAR) capabilities, maritime 
domain awareness, and &command of sea lanes.8  Hafstein 
said Iceland,s Coast Guard (ICG) enjoys a 24/7 link with 
USCG Boston and that cooperation is outstanding. 
 
7. (C) Hafstein reported Iceland will chair the North 
Atlantic Coast Guard Forum (NACGF) beginning in September, 
calling it the most important maritime forum in which her 
agency participates.  She said Iceland also supports creating 
Regional Maritime Security Operations Centers in the North 
Atlantic, separate from the NACGF.  Iceland is willing to 
host such a center and would welcome USCG participation. 
 
8. (C)  USCG presented a draft MOU for Cooperation (a 
counterproposal in response to a draft presented by the ICG 
to the USCG last year).  Hafstein welcomed the draft and 
reiterated Iceland,s desire to join the trilateral (Canada, 
UK, US) SAR MOU -- a request currently under review. 
 
Energy 
------ 
 
9. (C) Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister Sturla 
Sigurjonsson expressed concerns over developments in the High 
North affecting transport of energy resources and indicated 
uncertainty as to the degree to which NATO should focus on 
energy.  EEB Stephen Gallogly said there is ongoing 
discussion in the USG, but the focus for energy discussions 
is still within IAEA rather than NATO.  Iceland,s Ambassador 
to Washington Albert Jonsson commented on the considerable 
geothermal resources in the United States and noted Icelandic 
investment and cooperation in developing such projects in 
California. 
 
Russia 
------ 
 
10. (C) Sigurjonsson referred to Iceland,s longstanding good 
relations with Russia, calling it a neighbor.  He reminded 
that &Iceland is a very small country that must take care in 
its approach to Russia.8  He nevertheless expressed some 
concern about the recent, more aggressive posture Russia has 
taken, in particular citing Russian long range aviation 
activity that has encroached on Iceland,s civil aviation 
space. 
 
11.  (C) Sigurjonsson said it was no coincidence that one of 
the initial Russian flights took place the day after NAS 
Keflavik closed and stated that the current situation is very 
different than that during the Cold War.  Now flights are 
much closer to Iceland, and there is far denser civil 
aviation activity in the area than in the past.  Sigurjonsson 
said Russian flights have come as close as 35 miles to 
Reykjavik and showed a graphic demonstrating a recent flight 
that had circumnavigated the country.  While concerned that 
Russian motivations could include claiming a stake to the 
North Atlantic, he said that Iceland,s main worry is for the 
safety of civil aviation.  Iceland does not see increased 
Russian LRA activity as a military threat. 
 
Committed to Afghanistan 
------------------------ 
 
12. (C) Ibsen said Iceland needs to better focus its 
contribution in Afghanistan, which currently comprises 14 
non-combat troops supporting a PRT, ISAF HQ and Kabul airport 
operations, and added that that &funding is not yet clear.8 
 Ibsen said Iceland was glad to be joining Norway at the PRT 
in Meymaneh and indicated that it was also interested in 
assisting with police training.  The government plans to 
unveil a three-year strategy for Afghanistan in June, which 
will spell out a longer term, more focused commitment. 
Iceland was pleased with the choice of Kai Eide as UN envoy 
in Afghanistan.  Sigurjonsson noted that Iceland had 
previously pledged $1 million to the UK for heavy airlift 
which had not yet been used.  Consequently, Iceland plans to 
transfer $500,000 to a UK-sponsored NATO helicopter fund. 
 
NATO Seminar on High North 
-------------------------- 
 
13. (C) Sigurjonsson said Iceland is planning a NATO seminar 
for January 2009 and it wants to &make the High North a NATO 
issue.8  He reported that the NATO Secretary General will 
attend and Iceland is expecting high level participation from 
countries including Denmark, Norway and Canada.  Iceland 
hopes also for good representation by the United States, 
though Sigurjonsson acknowledged that timing would be 
problematic.  Planning for the meeting is being coordinated 
through staff at NATO HQ.  Sigurjonsson asked for a POC at 
State with whom Iceland can work on developing the program. 
Sigurjonsson said Iceland plans to limit attendance to the 
NATO 26 because the &discussion would be different8 if 
broadened to include NATO partners (which would necessarily 
include Russia). 
 
Police Cooperation 
------------------- 
 
14. (C) MOJ Hafstein said a National Police Security Unit was 
created in January of 2007 and has since produced threat 
assessments on domestic terrorism -- which not surprisingly 
have been unalarming. 
 
15.  Hafstein asked for an assessment of the organized crime 
threat posed by increased Chinese and Russian immigration. 
FBI Eurasian Organized Crime Unit Chief Barry Braun cautioned 
that Russian money laundering could become a serious problem 
and that securing cooperation from the Russian government on 
information sharing could be challenging.  Hafstein welcomed 
the possibility of sending staff to receive training from the 
FBI. 
 
 
 
 
16. Participants in the Strategic Dialogue included: 
 
Iceland 
Amb. Thorir Ibsen, Director Defense Department, Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs- Head of Delegation 
Amb. Sturla Sigurjonsson, Foreign Policy Adviser to the Prime 
Minister 
Ms. Thorunn J. Hafstein, Director of Police and Judicial 
Affairs, Ministry of Justice 
Amb. Albert Jonsson, Embassy of Iceland 
Mr. Fridrik Jonsson, Counselor, Defense Department, Ministry 
of Foreign Affairs 
Mr. Finnur Thor Birgisson, First Secretary, Embassy 
 
United States 
 
DOD 
Todd Harvey OSD/Policy Office Director 
Andrew Winternitz OSD/Policy Desk Officer 
 
DOS 
Judy Garber       Deputy Assistant Secretary 
Bob Gilchrist           Director, Office of Nordic and 
Baltic Affairs 
Marc Norman       S/CT 
Mary Nash         EUR/PRA 
Howard Solomon          EUR/RUS 
Stephen Gallogly        EEB/ESC/IEC 
Peter Shea        EUR/RPM 
Paul Harrison           EUR/RPM 
Cdr. Mark Skolnicki           OES/OA (USCG Liaison) 
Capt. Mark Cawthorn           INL/LP (USCG Liaison) 
 
Embassy Reykjavik 
Cdr. Patrick Geraghty         A/DATT 
 
FBI 
Barry Braun             Chief, Eurasian Organized     Crime 
Unit 
USCG 
Sally Netter            Office of International Affairs 
Lt. Tamara Wallen       Legal Advisor, Office of Maritime 
and International Law 
RICE