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Viewing cable 09BRASILIA735, VISIT OF S/CRS COORDINATOR JOHN HERBST

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09BRASILIA735 2009-06-10 14:02 2011-01-14 00:12 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Brasilia
VZCZCXRO5454
RR RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #0735 1611448
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 101448Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4464
INFO RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 9631
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 4184
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 7839
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHPU/AMEMBASSY PORT AU PRINCE 0222
UNCLAS BRASILIA 000735 

SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 

E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL BR
SUBJECT: VISIT OF S/CRS COORDINATOR JOHN HERBST 

1. (SBU) S/CRS Coordinator Ambassador John Herbst visited Brasilia May 21 for consultations with the GOB on Brazil's growing stabilization capabilities and possibilities for future cooperation. In meetings with Brazil's Ministry for External Relations (MRE) and Brazilian Agency for Cooperation (ABC - Brazil's USAID equivalent), Herbst outlined S/CRS structures and capabilities and compared them to elements of Brazil's own experience leading the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Herbst noted that the change in Brazil's approach in Haiti over the past two years, from simply providing peacekeepers to taking responsibility for building sustainable communities, mirrored S/CRS's approach. MRE Under Secretary for Political Affairs Vera Machado described the situation in Haiti as "fragile stability" and said Brazilian efforts to maintain peaceful conditions and improve police training had met with some success but were undermined by a lack of resources resulting from a "disappointing" donors conference. 

2. (SBU) Herbst suggested that possibilities for cooperation between Brazil and the United States will grow over the next twenty to thirty years as more states could destabilize over that period. He told the Brazilians that while the USG was not recommending involvement in any specific crisis, it seemed natural to enhance bilateral consultations on stabilization, so that when Brazil decided its interests would be served by involvement in a crisis operation, it would be prepared. Peacebuilding in failed states was difficult, he said, with only a few positive examples to guide future efforts. Herbst cited Colombia's success in restoring government control to areas like the Macarena which had previously been under FARC control. Herbst also spoke of S/CRS' role in planning for Kosovo's transition to independent government as an example of stabilization work. Brazilian and U.S. interest in promoting stability in Africa offered possibilities for cooperative approaches to prevent states from failing. Herbst then offered to invite Brazilians to participate in S/CRS-developed training programs, either in Washington or online. Brazilian Director for International Organizations Carlos Duarte agreed that there was scope for greater cooperation in Haiti and in Africa, particularly in Guinea Bissau. 

3. (SBU) ABC Director Marco Farani showed a strong interest in participating in S/CRS training. Within a day of meeting Herbst, he had his office call Embassy Brasilia for information on the upcoming course. Farani explained that while ABC had previously lacked resources, he was expecting a budget increase and authority to hire forty additional personnel this year. Herbst suggested using the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) consultative mechanism to encourage interest in stabilization operations and said the Indians had previously expressed interest in such consultations. Farani also believed there were possibilities for cooperation in Guinea Bissau and elsewhere in Africa. He agreed that the African Union was a potentially valuable partner and asked when S/CRS would be able to send experts to help the AU develop its capabilities. 

4. (SBU) COMMENT. Brazil is a latecomer to the area of reconstruction and stabilization, having been initially reluctant to become involved in Haiti. As Brazil's view of itself as a world power develops, so is its understanding of the responsibilities that come with a larger global role. ABC clearly is more forward-leaning in this regard than is the MRE, but President Lula's emphasis on outreach to Africa has created openings for engagement with Brazil on promoting stability on that continent. The S/CRS approach that Brazil should decide where and when to be involved, with the USG willing to cooperate when appropriate, was particularly effective with the MRE, which is typically wary of U.S. requests to get involved in third countries. 

5. (U) Ambassador Herbst has cleared this cable. 

SOBEL