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Viewing cable 09PARIS1589, CJCS MULLEN OUTLINES STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK FOR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09PARIS1589 2009-11-25 18:06 2010-12-02 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Paris
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFR #1589/01 3291837
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 251837Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7631
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMCSUU/CJTF HOA  PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L PARIS 001589 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/24/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR MASS AF FR
SUBJECT: CJCS MULLEN OUTLINES STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK FOR 
INCREASED CONTRIBUTIONS TO AFGHANISTAN WITH FRENCH CHIEF OF 
DEFENSE 

Classified By: Ambassador Charles Rivkin for reasons 
1.4 (b) and (d) 

1. (C) SUMMARY: CJCS Admiral Mike Mullen met with 
French Chief of Defense(CHOD)General Jean-Louis Georgelin 
to discuss the possibility of increasing the number of 
French troops committed to Afghanistan, in advance of the 
December 3-4 NATO Ministerial meetings. This discussion 
was precipitated by the expected release of a new US 
strategic framework for Afghanistan in the next two 
weeks. US attendees were: CJCS ADM Mullen, Ambassador 
Rivkin (US Ambassador to France), CAPT Mike Gilday (CJCS 
Executive Officer), and COL T. Bruce Sweeney (US Defense 
Attache to France). The French attendees were: GEN 
Georgelin, Vice Admiral Rogel (French Deputy Chief of 
Joint Staff for Operations), Rear Admiral Prazuk (French 
Communications and Public Affairs Chief), and Mr. 
Magnien, (Diplomatic Advisor to the CHOD). 
GEN Georgelin indicated that the French indeed have 
additional capacity to provide soldiers for Afghanistan, 
but that the French Joint Staff currently does not have 
the political support to do so. GEN Georgelin did not 
provide a number of additional troops that could be 
deployed, and did not respond to the Chairman regarding 
suggested numbers. Gen Georgelin then discussed the 
French President's public statement of "Not one more 
soldier for Afghanistan," followed by suggestions of how 
the US and NATO might approach France to get political 
support for additional French troops. This is a DAO Paris 
drafted message also reported as an IIR. End Summary. 

-------------------------------------------- 
POLITICAL SITUATION: NO MORE TROOPS 
-------------------------------------------- 
2. (C) The official French political position on 
additional troops is that France "will not provide one 
more soldier" for Afghanistan, as stated by President 
Sarkozy in October 2009. In fact, GEN Georgelin spoke 
with CJCS to discuss the possibility of additional French 
troops for Afghanistan the day prior to President 
Sarkozy's public statement. President Sarkozy made his 
announcement without consulting Gen Georgelin. When GEN 
Georgelin later met with the French President, Mr. 
Sarkozy told GEN Georgelin he could perhaps add police 
trainers, civilian or administrative personnel to boost 
the total numbers of the French contribution, but no 
additional soldiers would be sent for now. GEN Georgelin 
stated that the President does not think that Afghanistan 
is popular with French voters or other politicians and 
that the President is concerned about the regional 
elections in March and the success of his political party 
in those elections. 

-------------------------------------------- 
FRENCH CHOD's SUPPORT AND ASSISTANCE 
-------------------------------------------- 
3. (C) GEN Georgelin reviewed how the French troop level 
in Afghanistan has increased over time, as well as how he 
has managed to shape the French contribution into a more 
effective combat force. GEN Georgelin has overseen a 
significant increase from approximately 2000 troops to 
over 3700 on the ground. This was partly effected by 
changing off-site troop contributions into on-site 
contributions (such as reducing French Naval support 
personnel in the Indian Ocean while increasing French 
Army troops in-country), and also by a direct increase in 
the overall numbers of French troops committed to the 
Afghanistan effort. Finally, GEN Georgelin has also 
directed a change in mission for troops in Afghanistan in 
order to provide a more potent combat force. By reducing 
French contributions to the Operation Enduring Freedom 
training mission (French troops had been running the 
Officer's Training at the Afghan National Army Training 
Command), and switching those billets to straight combat 
troops, GEN Georgelin has effected an actual increase in 
combat soldiers for his engaged units within the existing 
3700 troop ceiling. French combat forces were recently 
reinforced with two additional platoons of infantry 
through this process. 

--------------------------------------------- - 
NATO FORCE GENERATION CONFERENCE FOR AFGHANISTAN 
AND HOW TO GET THE FRENCH TO APPROVE ADDITIONAL FORCES 
--------------------------------------------- - 
4. (C) ADM Mullen said that he expected a Force 
Generation Conference to be part of the NATO Ministerial 
meeting in early December 2009, provided that President 
Obama made his strategic decision for Afghanistan, and 
that the strategic framework was provided to NATO allies. 
GEN Georgelin then suggested that although a full court 
press of reciprocal calls and visits might be appreciated 
and even helpful, what was really necessary to get 
approval of additional troops for Afghanistan was a 
direct discussion between President Obama and President 
Sarkozy. He said that President Obama must tell 
President Sarkozy how important the French troop 
contribution in Afghanistan was, how his vision in 
Afghanistan was correct and aligned with that of the US, 
how important and successful French re-integration into 
NATO has been (including GEN Abriel, the French Supreme 
Allied Commander for Transformation), and how much the US 
needed his help personally, as well as how much we needed 
additional French troops in Afghanistan. GEN Georgelin 
further suggested that we should ask for additional 
troops to take on training missions, thus lowering the 
risk. Finally, GEN Georgelin declared that President 
Obama must ask now, because it will be more difficult to 
get a positive result closer to or after the regional 
French elections in March. In effect, President Obama 
must speak to President Sarkozy now, and flattery will 
get you everywhere in this case. 

5. (C) Finally, GEN Georgelin discussed the fact that 
successful French Presidents since De Gaulle have put 
the United States and NATO at some distance in order 
to have independent freedom of action, both politically and 
militarily. President Sarkozy has not done this, but has 
been, until recently, a true Atlanticist. Sarkozy's 
early trip to the US, his decision for France to rejoin 
NATO as a full member, and other moves have put him at 
odds with the French electorate and French elite. Thus, 
President Sarkozy is currently trying to distance himself 
from the US and improve his domestic popularity and 
appeal. Georgelin said that the President may be feeling 
vulnerable just now, and even if he agrees to additional 
troops for Afghanistan (if President Obama asks him) he 
will not take the position publicly until after the 
French regional elections in March. 

--------------------------------------------- - 
WHAT CAN FRANCE CONTRIBUTE? 
--------------------------------------------- - 
6. (C) General Georgelin did not specify a number for 
additional troop contributions. CJCS stated that he was 
looking for a total of 5,000 - 25,000 additional troops 
from all NATO countries and suggested 2,000 from France. 
The French laughed (with the Chairman) at this. CJCS 
later opined once again that France could provide 2,000 
troops and this also generated some nervous laughter. 
Georgelin said that the numbers discussed within the 
French Joint Staff have been approximately 1,500 troops, 
which would put total French contributions at 5,250. 
Although 5,250 is a large number for the French, it is 
sustainable given the total number of French forces and 
their reduced presence at overseas bases forecast by the 
French Government's White Paper. 

7. (C) GEN Georgelin believes that NATO has 
accomplished an awful lot in Afghanistan, further believes 
that more can be collectively accomplished there, and 
thinks GEN McChrystal's strategy and way of thinking is 
the right way to go in Afghanistan. He feels that ISAF 
will be successful in changing dynamics in Afghanistan 
if we all go forward together, and he sees French forces 
as an integral part of that successful effort. 
RIVKIN