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Viewing cable 09STATE127892, NATO CONTINGENCY PLANNING FOR OUR BALTIC ALLIES

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09STATE127892 2009-12-15 09:09 2010-12-06 21:09 SECRET//NOFORN Secretary of State
VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #7892 3491053
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 151050Z DEC 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO AMEMBASSY WARSAW IMMEDIATE 0000
S E C R E T STATE 127892

NOFORN

FOLLOWING STATE 127892 DATED 150910Z DEC 09 SENT ACTION RIGA,
TALLINN, VILNIUS, USNATO INFO ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE IS BEING
REPEATED FOR YOUR ACTION.
QUOTE:

S E C R E T STATE 127892

SIPDIS
NOFORN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/03/2019
TAGS: NATO MARR MCAP PREL EN LG LH PL
SUBJECT: NATO CONTINGENCY PLANNING FOR OUR BALTIC ALLIES

REFS: A) USNATO 561  B) USNATO 464  C) VILNIUS 569
D) RIGA 514

Classified By: ACTING EUR A/S NANCY MCELDOWNEY -FOR REASONS 1.4(B)
AND (D)

1. (U) This is an action cable.  Please see paragraphs 2-3.

2. (S/NF) Summary and Action Request. The United States is
developing a strategy for reaffirming both NATO and U.S.
commitment to the core responsibility of the Alliance:
collective defense.  Examining NATO's approach to contingency
planning will be one element of that strategy.  Moving from
country-specific to regional contingency plans is one potential
method. Expanding EAGLE GUARDIAN could be a first step in favor of
regional planning.  USNATO should engage NATO Secretary General
Rasmussen to begin to build support for expanding Eagle Guardian.
In early 2010, the U.S. Military Representative (MILREP) at NATO
HQ should take the following actions:  1) meet jointly with the
Chairman of the Military Committee (CMC), the German MILREP, and
other MILREPs as appropriate to urge the CMC to task the Supreme
Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) to include the Baltic States in
the revision of EAGLE GUARDIAN, and 2) approach the CMC and
request that he task SACEUR to brief the Military Committee on
each of NATO's contingency plans with guidance that he identify
any gaps in those plans.  We will be better positioned to consider
a broader regional approach after receiving SACEUR's assessment

USNATO and Action Embassies are asked to engage with appropriate
Baltic and Polish officials before December 16 to outline the U.S.
position, while stressing the need to keep details related to
NATO's military plans confidential.  Contingency points are also
provided at paragraph 4 for responding to public inquiries. End
Summary and Action Request.

3. (S) Washington shares USNATO's goal of a non-politicized
process for moving forward.  Washington believes that increased
public attention on the issue could complicate our efforts to
achieve that goal.  We need to make that point clearly to our
Baltic Allies and Poland, while also underscoring that we take
their request for NATO contingency planning seriously and support
steps to address their concerns.  We understand Baltic and Polish
leaders will meet on December 16 and will discuss, among other
topics, NATO contingency planning.  It will be important to engage
with Baltic and Polish officials in advance of that meeting to
both outline our support for expanding EAGLE GUARDIAN, and our
vision for a process that can deliver a successful result.  In
discussions with Baltic and Polish officials, Action Posts should
draw upon the points below.

(S/REL NATO) Begin Talking Points:

FOR RIGA, TALLINN, AND VILNIUS

-- The United States has taken careful note of the
repeated requests by all three Baltic states for NATO
contingency planning for the defense of the Baltic
region.

-- The United States believes that NATO - as a matter of
course - should conduct appropriate contingency planning
for the possible defense of Allied territory and
populations.  NATO's Article 5 commitment requires no
less.

-- As President Obama said in Prague: "We must work
together as NATO members so that we have contingency plans
in place to deal with new threats, wherever they may come
from."

-- After spending the last several months examining
options on how to carry out NATO contingency planning for
the Baltic states, the United States has decided that the
best course of action would be to take advantage of the
ongoing revision of the existing defense of Poland plan,
EAGLE GUARDIAN.  EAGLE GUARDIAN could be expanded to
include the defense of the Baltic states.  This expansion
is a logical military extension of the existing
contingency plan and fits well within the scenario posited
by EAGLE GUARDIAN.

-- We would also like to make clear that we see the
expansion of EAGLE GUARDIAN as a step toward the possible
expansion of NATO's other existing country-specific contingency
plans into regional plans.  This is the first step in a multi-
stage process to develop a complete set of appropriate contingency
plans for the full range of possible threats -- both regional and
functional -- as soon as possible.  At the same time, we believe
contingency planning is only one element of NATO's Article 5
preparedness.

-- The United States is prepared to work closely with NATO
Military Authorities and with other Allies to forge a
consensus in favor of expanding EAGLE GUARDIAN to include the
defense of the Baltic states, starting immediately in the new year
when NATO reopens following its winter break.

(S/REL NATO) FOR WARSAW

-- The United States has taken careful note of the
repeated requests by all three Baltic states for NATO
contingency planning for the defense of the Baltic
region.

-- The United States believes that NATO - as a matter of
course - should conduct appropriate contingency planning
for the possible defense of Allied territory and
populations.  NATO's Article 5 commitment requires no
less.

-- As President Obama said in Prague: "We must work
together as NATO members so that we have contingency plans
in place to deal with new threats, wherever they may come
from."

-- After spending the last several months examining
options for how to carry out NATO contingency planning for
the Baltic states, the United States has decided that the
best course of action would be to take advantage of the
ongoing revision of the existing defense of Poland plan,
EAGLE GUARDIAN.  EAGLE GUARDIAN could be expanded to
include the defense of the Baltic states.

-- This expansion is a logical military extension of the
existing contingency plan and fits well within the
scenario posited by EAGLE GUARDIAN.  In fact, defending
Poland necessarily entails defending the Baltic states, as
well.

-- We would also like to make clear that we see the
expansion of EAGLE GUARDIAN as a step toward the possible
expansion of NATO's other existing country-specific contingency
plans into regional plans.  This is the first step in a multi-
stage process to develop a complete set of appropriate contingency
plans for the full range of possible threats - both regional and
functional - as soon as possible.  At the same time, we believe
contingency planning is only one element of NATO's Article 5
preparedness.

-- The United States is prepared to work closely with NATO
Military Authorities and with other Allies to forge a
consensus in favor of expanding EAGLE GUARDIAN to include the
defense of the Baltic states, starting immediately in the new year
when NATO reopens following its winter break.

-- We do not believe that this will result in any
significant delays for concluding the EAGLE GUARDIAN
revision.  Nor do we believe that this in any way
endangers planning for the defense of Poland.  In fact, we
believe that the planning for the defense of Poland will
be much more robust with the inclusion of the Baltics.

(S/REL NATO) POINTS ABOUT PUBLIC DISCUSSION OF PLANS (FOR USE AT
POST'S DISCRETION)

-- The United States believes strongly
that such planning should not be discussed
publicly.
These military plans are classified
at
the NATO SECRET level
.

-- The Alliance has many public diplomacy tools at its
disposal.  Contingency planning is not one of them.  What
we should do is explore other public steps for
demonstrating the vitality of Article 5, such as
exercises, defense investment, and partnerships.

-- Public discussion of contingency plans undermines their
military value, giving insight into NATO's planning
processes.  This weakens the security of all Allies.

--
Public discussion of the plan would also make it
politically much more difficult for some Allies to support
the EAGLE GUARDIAN revision, creating divisions within the
Alliance and throwing the whole project into doubt.

-- A public discussion of contingency planning would also
likely lead to an unnecessary increase in NATO-Russia
tensions, something we should try to avoid as we work to
improve practical cooperation in areas of common
NATO-Russia interest.

-- We believe that the proposed revision of EAGLE GUARDIAN
is achievable and will represent a significant response to
the Baltic request for contingency planning.

-- We hope that we can count on your support in these
efforts, including on keeping discussions on NATO
contingency planning out of the public domain.

-- We should work together on using exercises, defense
investment, and partnerships to demonstrate to our publics
that Article 5's value ultimately lies in NATO's
capabilities and deterrence, rather than specific
planning.

(C) FOR ALL ACTION POSTS -- IF ASKED

Q: Why wait until the new year?  Why not start now?
A: NATO Headquarters is heading into its winter break,
when only a skeletal staff is in place.  Our ability to
achieve success in this matter will be substantially
improved once senior Allied personnel have returned to
work early in the new year.  We pledge to take the matter
up expeditiously at that time.

Q: Will waiting until the new year give NATO Military
Authorities sufficient time to complete the revision of
the EAGLE GUARDIAN?

A: According to our conversations with NATO's senior
military authorities, beginning the process of
incorporating the Baltic states into EAGLE GUARDIAN in
early January still gives them sufficient time to complete
the revision by February as originally planned.

4.  (C) Washington strongly prefers that discussion of
NATO's contingency plans in general, and the possible
expansion of EAGLE GUARDIAN in particular, remain in
confidential channels.  However, posts may use the points
below if necessary in responding to public queries about
these issues.

(U) PUBLIC/PRESS INQUIRIES -- IF ASKED:

-- NATO does not discuss specific plans.

-- As a matter of course, however, NATO does planning in
order to be as prepared as possible for whatever
situations might arise, particularly as relates to its
ability to carrying out its Article 5 commitments.

-- Plans are not static.  NATO is constantly reviewing and
revising its plans.

-- NATO planning, however, is an internal process designed
to make the Alliance as prepared as possible for future
contingencies.  It is not "aimed" at any other country.

-- President Obama acknowledged this when he said at
Prague that "We must work together as NATO members so that
we have contingency plans in place to deal with new
threats, wherever they may come from."
CLINTON UNQUOTE CLINTON