Author Topic: WikiLeaks Cable:Afghanistan - Frustrations Continue In Sangin District  (Read 4310 times)

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Offline mayya

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Cable reference id: #09KABUL71
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Reference id aka Wikileaks id #187068 ?
SubjectFrustrations Continue In Sangin District
OriginEmbassy Kabul (Afghanistan)
Cable timeWed, 14 Jan 2009 11:52 UTC
ClassificationCONFIDENTIAL
Sourcehttp://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/01/09KABUL71.html
Referenced by09KABUL140
History
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VZCZCXRO6482OO RUEHPW DE RUEHBUL #0071/01 0141152 ZNY CCCCC ZZH O 141152Z JAN 09 FM AMEMBASSY KABUL TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6689 INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
Hide headerC O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 000071 SIPDIS KABUL FOR USFOR-A COS, DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/FO, SCA/A, EUR/RPM STATE PASS USAID FOR ASIA/SCAA NSC FOR WOOD OSD FOR WILKES CG CJTF-101 POLAD E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/14/2014 TAGS: PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs], PREL [External Political Relations], PTER [Terrorists and Terrorism], KDEM [Democratization], AF [Afghanistan]
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SUBJECT: FRUSTRATIONS CONTINUE IN SANGIN DISTRICT Classified By: PRT Director Valerie C. Fowler for reasons 1.4 (b) and ( d)

 Summary --------

¶1. (SBU) The UK PRT/Task Force Helmand (TFH) transported Helmand Governor Mangal, several of his staff and members of the local media to the Sangin District for an extensive outreach program. January 5, 2009. The visit lasted six hours and included visits to the District Center, Sangin School, Sangin Bazaar and the under-construction industrial park. It was the Governor,s second trip to the city in three months. In practical terms the visit was a serious setback for the British PRT,s relationship with Governor Mangal as the lack of visible progress in Sangin is clearly frustrating Mangal.

Governor Mangal's Frustrations -------------------------------

¶2. (U) The Governor has been pushing the PRT/TFH to expand the secure areas in and around the city but during the visit to Sangin he was only allowed about 200 meters beyond the FOB perimeter and was unable to walk through the bazaar. He had sent his security staff forward to work with the UK Stabilization officer in anticipation of having 500 people attend the event. However, a Taliban threat the previous night affected coordination for the event and only 100 local residents attended the Shura.

¶3. (SBU) Prior to departing Sangin, the Governor called a meeting with the UK leadership and US PRTOFF and expressed his displeasure with the situation and PRT/TFH efforts in Sangin. He said, "Stop calling it the Sangin District and start calling it the Sangin Base, all you have done here is built a military camp next to the city. I asked you people to do reconstruction and yet the District Governor remains in the FOB and how can you expect a city to recover if the Bazaar is not in the security zone." Mangal said he would direct the District Governor to establish a compound in the city and he wanted the PRT to deliver reconstruction, schools, clinics, and roads, with the bazaar being the heart of an economic zone, as it is in Garmsir.

¶4. (SBU) Also present during the day were the ANA commander and District Governor who leveled several charges that UK troops were searching compounds, walking on the roofs of homes and treating the local population badly -- including pointing weapons at people and going into areas where women were working. These comments were raised during the Shura and in early meetings the Governor had with the elders. In the public forum of the Shura, Mangal strongly defended the ISAF forces, work and called upon the local community to work with ISAF to defeat the Taliban. In the private meeting these comments from the local leadership inflamed an already tense situation, and caused Mangal to say that PRT coordination must be improved as well as the attitude toward the local population. PRT/TFH noted that there has been progress in many other areas of Helmand, and reminded the Governor that Musa Qala, Garmsir and Nad Ali operations all occurred since the UK had liberated Sangin and there have never been sufficient, ISAF or Afghan forces, to control the whole district.

PRT/TFH Frustrations --------------------

¶5. (C) Following the visit, the PRT and Task Force leadership convened to review the day's events. It was clear from the discussion the UK is also frustrated with the situation in Sangin and all had hoped for greater progress by this point. UK leadership seems to be divided into two camps. The first wants to do no more in Sangin and move resources from the area into Gereshk and Garmsir where progress is possible and the population is more supportive; the military seems to favor this route. The second camp (the civilian approach) wants to simply hold what they have and wait for the U.S. to interject troops and funds they think will allow them to re-allocate forces and perhaps expand the Sangin Zone. Comment ------- KABUL 00000071 002 OF 002

¶6. (C) Enemy forces are still within 500-600 meters of the District Center and UK soldiers told DOS PRTOFF that at the edge of the city, "Cowboy Country begins." Any sizeable reduction in UK forces would almost certainly bring the District Center under regular indirect fire and further destabilize an already tenuous situation. The UK effort in Helmand is already in a "wait and see" mode, wildly speculating when and where U.S. troops will go, obsessed about CERP amounts, and doing nothing to correct the difficult situation already in Sangin.

¶7. (C) During the visit, Mangal made a strong reconciliation push to the assembled body, saying he was willing to meet with anyone and guarantee their safety if they wanted to discuss reconciliation. The message was clearly directed to the absent Alizai leadership, leaving the next move up to them. The offer was well received by the group and DOS PRTOFF believes that if Mangal can sustain his outreach efforts to Sangin, and deliver more reconstruction and development programs, he has a chance to bring in the fence sitters and undermine some of the Alizai support still reserved for Sher Mohammid Akunzda.

 WOOD


http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.php?id=09KABUL71&q=afghanistan%20district%20sangin
« Last Edit: October 27, 2013, 02:07:18 AM by mayya »