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Viewing cable 09KABUL3963, DUTCH MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC OFFICERS GIVE THE

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09KABUL3963 2009-12-09 06:06 2011-01-20 08:08 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy Kabul
VZCZCXRO1071
OO RUEHDBU RUEHPW RUEHSL
DE RUEHBUL #3963/01 3430651
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 090651Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3880
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 KABUL 003963 

SIPDIS 
NOFORN 

STATE FOR SRAP HOLBROOKE, SCA/FO, SCA/A 
STATE PASS USAID FOR ASIA/SCAA 
USFOR-A FOR POLAD 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/07/2019 
TAGS: PREL PGOV AF
SUBJECT: DUTCH MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC OFFICERS GIVE THE 
HARD SELL TO REMAIN IN URUZGAN 

REF: A. USNATO 563 
B. THE HAGUE 731 
C. THE HAGUE 673 
D. THE HAGUE 663 
E. THE HAGUE 595 
F. STATE 124188 

Classified By: Acting Coordinator For Interagency Provincial Affairs Ho 
yt B. Yee, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 

1. (S/NF) Summary: The Dutch soldiers and civilians 
currently posted at the Dutch-led PRT Uruzgan are the 
strongest advocates for continued Dutch presence in 
Afghanistan after August 2010. They attempt to influence 
their many visitors and policy makers in The Hague by 
focusing on the positive impact of Dutch efforts in Uruzgan. 
Though they are often frustrated that the true impact of 
Dutch efforts is not resonating with the home audience, they 
continue to lobby in the hopes of retaining some type of 
Dutch footprint beyond next summer. Though their new 
approach of including Afghan officials in briefings appears 
to be having a positive impact, the Dutch civilians in 
Afghanistan believe the chance of a large Dutch presence 
beyond summer 2010 is low. End Summary. 

2. (S/NF) Task Force Uruzgan (TFU) and the adjoining 
Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) receive many visitors 
from The Hague. Catering to anything from journalists to 
royalty, Dutch military and diplomatic officers provide 
detailed briefs on how the Dutch Three-D approach (defense, 
diplomacy and development) has yielded tangible results in 
one of the most impoverished and conservative provinces in 
Afghanistan. Dutch civilians say that nearly all of their 
visitors walk away from their brief time in Uruzgan with a 
new found respect for the mission, even the many who arrive 
as critics of continued Dutch involvement in Afghanistan. 
3. (S/NF) For example, the Task Force Commander and civilian 
representatives described the recent visit of Dutch Minister 
of Interior and Kingdom Relations and senior Labor Party 
member Gussje ter Horst as very successful. (Note: The Dutch 
Labor Party has argued most adamantly to withdraw Dutch 
troops from Uruzgan by the stated August 2010 deadline. End 
Note.) Privately, Dutch civilians at the PRT are frustrated 
that these ostensibly successful visits have not resonated 
back in the Netherlands, and have not, therefore, guaranteed 
public or official support for continued Dutch involvement in 
Uruzgan. Dutch soldiers and civilians stationed in Uruzgan 
are very passionate and boastful when describing the 
achievements they and their predecessors have made here. As 
one Dutchman put it, if every citizen of the Netherlands 
could somehow visit the TFU/PRT, there would be little debate 
on the matter of withdrawing in August 2010. 

Afghans Voices Make the Point 
----------------- 

4. (S/NF) Recent briefings of Dutch visitors have featured 
Afghans pleading for the Dutch to stay, possibly with some 
coaching by the Dutch based at the PRT. At the conclusion of 
the visit of Defense Minister Middlekoop, the acting Civilian 
Representative Jean-Wilhelm Beaujean reported that Uruzgan 
Governor Hamdam and the Chora District Chief Mohammad Daudhad 
had been word perfect in their messaging to the minister, 
particularly that Afghans want the Dutch to stay, that the 
Dutch are achieving more than other coalition partners in 
Uruzgan, and that NGOs will find it difficult to continue 
operating in Uruzgan if the Dutch leave. The Minister 
reportedly told Beaujean he agreed with the messages. 
Beaujean quietly told U.S. PRT rep later, I see our talking 
points are finally starting to work, and that once again we 
sold the mission in a good way. 

5. (S/NF) Even more indicative that Afghan voices are having 
a positive impact in the debate was a recent Financial Times 
interview of Governor Hamdam received wide coverage in the 
Netherlands. In the November 23 piece, Governor Hamdam 
reiterated The people of Uruzgan are very familiar with the 
Dutch ) they have spent a lot of time here ) and they are 
asking them to stay. If they do leave, it will mean they are 
going at an important time with their job only half finished. 

6. (S/NF) Civilian representatives at the current TFU 
rotation in Uruzgan have also been pressing for 
internationalization of the PRT, which they see as important 
for optics more than increased capacity. For example, 
Beaujean's efforts to gain additional civilians from the U.S. 
and Australia appear to be driven by his personal opinion 

KABUL 00003963 002 OF 002 


that Dutch policy makers might find a continued Dutch 
presence more palatable if there is international 
participation. 

Likely Scenarios after Summer 2010 
----------- 

7. (S/NF) In confidence, Dutch diplomats have said that a 
large military presence in the province past August 2010 is 
highly unlikely. One Dutch diplomat reported that 
logistics teams are already gearing up for the withdrawal, as 
some 80 large semi-trucks are being prepared to move critical 
Dutch military equipment out of the province via land routes. 
The debate now, they reported, is focused on whether or not 
to retain the PRT and what form their involvement in the PRT 
would take. Some Dutch diplomats believe that coordinating 
national caveats and operational styles could be next to 
impossible if the U.S. takes command of the battle space and 
a Dutch civilian continues to lead the PRT. Therefore, they 
believe the Dutch will propose that a small cadre of Dutch 
development officers remain in Uruzgan, but under U.S. 
leadership. Others believe differences could be easily 
resolved if the right personalities were in place in 
Uruzgan, allowing the Dutch to retain a relatively larger 
Dutch presence. 

8. (S/NF) Comment: Dutch PRT personnel are not optimistic 
about the prospects for maintaining a large Dutch military 
presence in Uruzgan, but are doing their best to convince The 
Hague of the benefits of doing so. U.S. Representative to 
the PRT will continue to urge Dutch colleagues to maintain 
their mandate and vital role in coalition efforts, per 
reftel. End Comment. 
RICCIARDONE