|Subject:||MONGOLIA PROPOSES SUPPLEMENTAL AFGHAN DEPLOYMENT AND INCREASED MILITARY COOPERATION|
|Origin:||Embassy Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia||Classification:||CONFIDENTIAL|
|Created:||18 Nov 2009||Released:||30 Aug 2011|
|Tags:||MARR, MG, MOPS, PREL|
This is the unredacted source of this cable.
C O N F I D E N T I A L ULAANBAATAR 000332
STATE FOR EAP/CM AND EAP/RSP
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/17/2019
TAGS: PREL, MARR, MOPS, MG
SUBJECT: MONGOLIA PROPOSES SUPPLEMENTAL AFGHAN DEPLOYMENT
AND INCREASED MILITARY COOPERATION
REF: ULAANBAATAR 329
Classified By: Political Section Chief Andrew Covington,
Reasons 1.4 (a), (b), and (d)
1. (C) SUMMARY: During his November 16-18 visit to
Ulaanbaatar, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for
Partnership Strategy and Stability Operations, James Schear,
accompanied by the Charge and DATT, met key offials at the
Ministries of Defense and of Foreign Affairs, including
Defense Minister Bold and Foreign Minister Zandanshatar.
Bold and other senior Mongolian military officials voiced a
number of new proposals for military development and possible
bilateral cooperation. In contrast, DASD Schear's meeting
with newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs Zandanshatar
was brief and far more formal, as the FM mostly restricted
his remarks to a prepared statement expressing appreciation
for our positive role in Mongolia's democratic transition and
support for our efforts in Afghanistan. Zandanshatar also
stated he worked with Ambassador Addleton when the latter was
USAID director in Ulaanbaatar and looks forward to meeting
him again. END SUMMARY.
MINISTRY OF DEFENSE
2. (C) At the Ministry of Defense November 17, Defense
Minister Lu. Bold reiterated his support for U.S. operations
against terrorist groups and expressed satisfaction regarding
the level of cooperation to date. He described the just
departed second deployment to Afghanistan tasked with fixed
site security and the training of Afghan soldiers as a next
step in fostering security ties. Of note, Bold proposed
deploying small numbers of Mongolia's medical personnel to
Afghanistan in support of U.S. efforts. In a subsequent
meeting, Chief of General Staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces
(MAF) Lieutenant General Byambajav expanded upon this.
Although ultimately intended for UN peacekeeping operations
in Chad and eventually Darfur at a Level II capacity,
Byambajav expressed the hope that some medical personnel
could integrate into U.S. combat medical units in Afghanistan
and develop their capabilities..
3. (C) Byambajav stated his hope to develop more tactical
mobility in the MAF through the establishment of a cavalry
contingent in the West as well as the acquisition of C-130
aircraft from the U.S. for troop conveyance. Invoking
Mongolia's long equestrian history, Byambajav explained that
horse riding soldiers were better able to navigate hilly
terrain and could be of use in striking at terrorist cells in
such environments. Byambajav recounted that the Russians had
bought Mongolian horses for a mounted contingent in the
Caucasus. He further suggested that such a western cavalry
unit could be used for regional training purposes as well.
He assented when Schear asked if the training might involve
the Kazakhs, who also have contributed to recent U.S.
military efforts. On the subject of C-130s, Byambajav
insisted that the MAF could adequately maintain and use theQ
despite the harsh environment.
4. (SBU) Lastly, Byambajav touched upon improving MAF
training and research capacities. Citing the prominence of
U.S. trained military officials in the MAF and his own such
experience at U.S. Central Command in Tampa Florida, he
expressed interest in increasing the number of slots
available to the MAF through these programs. He furthermore
stated the goal of establishing a local "lessons learned"
center within the MAF to build upon the experience attained
from their numerous international deployments.
5. (U) Schear also devoted time to greeting and expressing
gratitude to Mongolian soldiers for their work in supporting
U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and global peacekeeping
operations. He personally bid farewell to the outbound
Afghanistan contingent on November 16 from the airport, en
route to provide fixed site security as well as training to
the Afghan military in the use of old Soviet artillery. The
following day Schear had lunch with Col. Ontsgoibayar and
selected troops from the 150th Peacekeeping Battalion under
his command, bound for Chad on November 20. Afterwards he
visited the Five Hills Regional Training Center, which hosts
numerous combined multinational training opportunities for
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE
6. (C) DASD Schear also met with Foreign Minister
Zandanshatar on November 17 (see reftel for details of
Zandanshatar's November 12 appointment). The meeting was
Zandanshatar's first as FM with a high-ranking visitor from
Washington; he mostly kept to prepared remarks. The FM
expressed appreciation for the role the United States plays
in the building of democracy and a market economy in
Mongolia, noting the significant growth in the bilateral
relationship in last several years. He said Mongolian
foreign policy is focused on long-term, balanced, and
friendly relationships -- in particular the close
partnerships with Mongolia's "third neighbors."
7. (C) Zandanshatar said Mongolia seeks a comprehensive
partnership with the United States and that cooperation in
the defense field has been fruitful. He thanked us for U.S.
contributions to enhance Mongolia's defense capabilities and
underscored that Mongolia is moving toward light and mobile
armed units that are flexible in relief and peacekeeping
situations -- noting that Mongolia is undertaking these
changes as budget constraints allow.
8. (C) Zandanshatar stated that Mongolia welcomes and fully
supports the new U.S. strategy in Pakistan and Afghanistan
and is pleased to be sending additional troops to
Afghanistan. He said Mongolia can be an example of a
successful democracy for countries in central and northeast
9. (C) The FM noted he was close friends with Ambassador
Addleton when the former worked on banking reform under USAID
auspices. He said he looks forward to seeing the Ambassador
after he arrives in Ulaanbaatar to take up his new
assignment. Zandanshatar further stated that Mongolia can be
considered a strategic partner and therefore wishes to
evaluate and improve our bilateral cooperation.
10. (SBU) DASD Schear cleared this cable.