SCENESETTER FOR AMBASSADOR ROBERT LOFTIS

Posted on December 11, 2011


UNCLAS LJUBLJANA 000272 SIPDIS C O R R E C T E D  C O P Y (CHANGE PARA 13 MARKING TO MESSAGE) SENSITIVE SIPDIS DEPT FOR PM – AMB LOFTIS, PM/RSAT – KDOWLEY, AND EUR/NCE – VTRIM, OSD FOR JTOWNSEND AND MSADOWSKA JOINT STAFF FOR MMANTIPLY E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: MARR MOPS NATO PGOV PREL PTER SI SUBJECT: SCENESETTER FOR AMBASSADOR ROBERT LOFTIS 1. (SBU) Ambassador Loftis: We welcome your visit to Slovenia to hold bilateral Pol-Mil talks.  These talks will provide an excellent opportunity to: – Thank Slovenia for its robust contributions to ongoing NATO operations such as NTM-I, ISAF, and KFOR, as well as the completed Hurricane Katrina and Pakistan Earthquake relief operations; – Engage Slovenia on our vision of NATO transformation, including future enlargement, streamlined global partnerships, a fully operational NATO Response Force (NRF), and enhanced common funding; – Encourage stronger cooperation in the areas of counter-proliferation and counter terrorism; – Push for additional contributions from Slovenia for civil reconstruction in Afghanistan and fulfillment of its NATO Force Goals. —————————————- PM JANSA,S TRANSATLANTIC RE-ORIENTATION —————————————- 2. (U) In the fourteen years since gaining independence, Slovenia has established a stable, prosperous, multi-party democracy with a free press, an independent judiciary, and an excellent human rights record.  Slovenia became a member of NATO on March 29, 2004, and a member of the European Union on May 1, 2004.  On October 3, 2004, Slovenia held parliamentary elections that unseated the center-left parties that had ruled with only a brief interruption since independence and brought to power a center-right coalition under the leadership of Prime Minister Janez Jansa. 3. (U) Jansa is a former Yugoslav-era dissident who served as Minister of Defense from 1990-1994.  During his time as Defense Minister, Jansa presided over the transformation of Slovenia,s Territorial Defense Force into an independent military and subsequently spearheaded Slovenia’s entry into NATO,s Partnership for Peace.  As a committed transatlanticist, Jansa has sought to re-orient Slovenia,s foreign policy by focusing more on Slovenia,s commitment to NATO and the advancement of a common democracy agenda. 4. (SBU) The Jansa government made improved relations with the United States a central plank in its 2004 election campaign and has worked hard to make good on this promise. Slovenia took a giant step forward in February 2006 when it deployed four military trainers to the NATO Training Mission ) Iraq (NTM-I), thereby supporting an important U.S. foreign policy priority.  The reversal of its longstanding policy of &no boots on the ground8 in Iraq spurred an intense media debate over the issue.  For its part, the GOS explained its decision to the public using carefully crafted arguments about Slovenia,s obligations to NATO and global security. Despite an initial onslaught of criticism from the center-left opposition, the deployment has come and gone without any precipitous drop in support for the government. 5. (SBU) Slovenia views NATO as a cornerstone of transatlantic security and favors continued expansion of the alliance.  You will find the Jansa administration more receptive to what we are trying to accomplish around the world than most previous Slovenian administrations.  The GOS has indicated it plans to host a Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) container security exercise in May 2007 and is currently in the process of exploring opportunities to engage in civilian reconstruction in Afghanistan.  We should thank the Slovenes for these commitments and encourage them to continue their military transformation and the fulfillment of their NATO Force Goals. ————————– FOREIGN POLICY PRIORITIES ————————– 6. (SBU) Now that Slovenia has finished its tenure as Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE (which ended on December 31, 2005), it has begun to prepare for its next big challenge: presiding over the EU in the first six months of 2008.  The EU presidency will bring a whole host of complex issues to the front burner, from Common Agricultural Policy to ESDP to combating extremism and resurrecting the EU,s moribund constitutional treaty.  Slovenia is measuring up to its forthcoming responsibilities and trying to broaden its expertise in areas that only a few years ago were largely off the radar screen.  This includes a welcome new receptivity to supporting the President’s freedom and democracy agenda in areas as far flung as Cuba, Belarus, and Uzbekistan. Slovenian President Drnovsek,s vocal support for humanitarian causes in Darfur and elsewhere has also shifted attention to parts of the globe that previously received little attention. 7. (U) Despite the expanded horizons brought about by its OSCE and EU responsibilities, Slovenia’s primary strategic focus remains the Western Balkans.  Foreign Minister Rupel is engaged with Kosovo’s final status negotiations and Slovenia is taking an active role in a special planning team that will shape the future role of the EU in Kosovo once status has been determined.  Slovenia also plans to maintain a robust military presence in Kosovo by deploying a Motorized Battalion to KFOR in 2007, which will bring its total troop strength to 640 soldiers. 8. (SBU) Slovenia is a strong advocate of Croatia’s bid to join NATO and the EU.  Despite periodic political haggling over its undefined maritime border with Croatia, deposits owed to Croatian creditors by a bankrupt Ljubljana bank, and the disposal of waste from a jointly owned nuclear power plant, the GOS has hewed to its policy of advocating Croatian membership in both organizations.  Through the South East European Clearing House (SEECH), the Southeast European Cooperation Initiative (SECI), and the Southeast European Prosecutors Advisory Group (SEEPAG), Slovenia remains active in spurring defense and law enforcement cooperation throughout the region.  As a member of the Southeast European Defense Ministerial (SEDM), Slovenia also is engaged in promoting defense reform among its neighbors to the south and east. ————————— THE SLOVENIAN ARMED FORCES ————————— 9. (U) FORCE STRUCTURE:  The Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) continues the process of transformation, including downsizing, modernizing, restructuring, and reorganizing, in order to meet NATO Force Goals and its military commitments to the EU.  The SAF, primarily a ground-based force with limited air and naval assets, are approximately a division-size force composed of two major commands subordinate to the General Staff: Forces Command; and the Doctrine, Development, Training and Education Command (DDTEC).  Forces Command is composed of combat, combat support, and combat service support elements.  Within Forces Command, the First Brigade provides combat forces, the 72nd Brigade provides combat support (CS) forces, and Support Command provides combat service support (CSS).  DDTEC is generally responsible for all training and doctrine development missions, similar to the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). 10. (U) PERSONNEL:  The SAF is meeting its downsizing goal by transforming itself from a primarily conscripted, territorially oriented defense force of 87,000 personnel with 95 percent reserves.  The SAF today is a professional volunteer force currently consisting of approximately 7,300 (44%) active duty personnel, 1,300 (8%) contracted reserves, and 8,000 (48%) conscripted reserves, and is restructuring to become an expeditionary force capable of meeting its NATO and EU responsibilities and obligations.  The goal of the SAF is to downsize the force by 2010 to 8,500 active duty personnel and 5,500 contracted reserves. 11. (U) GOALS AND PRIORITIES:  The overarching goals of the SAF include strategic integration into NATO and the EU, stabilization of the SAF structure and organization, development of SAF capabilities for national defense and integration within NATO and the EU, improving education and training at the individual and collective level, developing better logistics capabilities, and improving command and control (C2) support systems. 12. (U) PROCUREMENT AND FORCE MODERNIZATION:  The SAF,s modernization and procurement objectives are focused on NATO interoperability.  Procurement in FY 2005 was focused on equipping combat units and enhancing command and control capabilities; continuing the process of upgrading individual soldier combat gear and protective equipment; continuing the procurement of wheeled-vehicle transportation assets in order to upgrade SAF logistics support capabilities; investing in the upgrading of Cerklje airbase, the sole military airfield in Slovenia; and improving helicopter transport capabilities and determining fixed-wing transport needs for the future. The Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) assisted the SAF by supporting some of its procurement objectives, specifically with funding in the areas of High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) spare parts and Command, Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence (C4I) systems. —————– NATO Force Goals —————– 13. (U) Shortly after joining NATO in March 2004, Slovenia accepted or partially accepted 44 NATO Force Goals (NFGs), rejecting none.  Slovenia,s primary NFGs in 2004 included an infantry battalion to be provided in rotations for up to six months by 2012, an NBC battalion for the NATO Reaction Force by 2009, and several combat support and combat service support assets.  In March 2006, Slovenia received 54 additional NATO Force Goal &Updates.8  It accepted or partially accepted 53 of these and rejected one (Force Protection for Deployed Air Units).  With the additional 2006 NFG Updates, Slovenia is being asked to further increase the number of deployable combat and combat support units.  A new high readiness reconnaissance company is being sought from the end of 2012 and a military police company in 2008. Slovenia is also being asked to provide more deployable Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) assets.  In terms of acquisitions, NATO is asking Slovenia to procure 3 additional helicopters and two light transport aircraft by 2011. ————————- International Operations ————————- 14. (U) Slovenia is actively engaged in many international operations, including NATO operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo, the EU Operation Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 15. (SBU) IRAQ:  On February 24, 2006, Slovenia deployed four military trainers in support of NTM-I at the Ar Rustamiya training facility near Baghdad.  This important milestone aligned Slovenia more closely with U.S. foreign policy objectives and once again demonstrated Slovenia,s willingness to contribute to security operations in global “hot spots.”  In addition to deploying the four trainers to Iraq, Slovenia has also donated 5 million Euro worth of small arms and ammunition to the Iraqi Security Forces; 100,000 Euro to the NATO Training Mission – Iraq (NTM-I) Trust Fund; and has paid for approximately 172,000 Euro worth of transport costs and port fees for the movement of 77 T-72 tanks from Hungary to Iraq (across Slovenian territory). Since 2003, five Slovenian police trainers have been training the Iraqi Police Force at the Jordan International Police Training Center (JIPTC).  Additionally, the Slovenian NGO “Together” has trained over 200 Iraqi psychiatrists in psycho-social rehabilitation for children affected by war. Finally, Slovenia,s contribution to Iraq includes one liaison officer (LNO) assigned to Central Command (CENTCOM) Headquarters in Tampa, Florida. 16. (U) AFGHANISTAN:  Slovenia has participated in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan since 2003, contributing Special Forces, firefighters and veterinarians.  Currently, Slovenia has 48 troops deployed to the Italian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Herat (western Afghanistan); as well as two troops operating in ISAF headquarters in Kabul.  In addition, Slovenia contributes one LNO to CENTCOM Headquarters in Tampa, Florida to support ISAF operations.  Slovenia plans to maintain its current force levels in ISAF through 2007. 17. (U) KOSOVO:  In 2005, Slovenia increased its force contribution in Kosovo threefold, from 32 to 92 soldiers. The current GOS contributions to the Kosovo Force (KFOR) include a Military Police platoon and other forces supporting various headquarters elements and the National Support Element (NSE).  Slovenia plans to increase its presence in KFOR by deploying a transportation company in 2006, bringing its contribution to between 300-400 personnel.  Slovenia also plans to further increase its troop strength to approximately 640 personnel in 2007 with the deployment of a Motorized Battalion. 18. (U) BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA:  In 2004, the Slovenes contributed approximately 100 troops in support of the Stabilization Force (SFOR), which in December 2004 was transferred from NATO to the European Union (EU) as Operation Althea.  The Slovenes continue to support Operation Althea with 98 troops, as well as 2 staff personnel at NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo. 19. (U) OTHER NATO OPERATIONS:  In 2005, Slovenia donated $120,000 worth of aid for Hurricane Katrina victims. Slovenia also donated 120,000 Euro in aid, 100,000 Euro in financing of strategic lift, and two Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) personnel to the Pakistan Earthquake relief operation. ———————————— Summary: What We Hope to Accomplish ———————————— 20. (U) Since the election of Prime Minister Jansa,s center-right government in late 2004, Slovenia has emerged as a close Ally in the Global War on Terror and a capable partner in the advancement of the President’s freedom agenda. Its foreign policy has shifted in parallel with its defense transformation: with the accelerated development of the SAF,s expeditionary capabilities, Slovenia has assumed greater responsibility for the projection of security and promotion of democracy abroad — in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and soon, as part of an EU mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  All of this testifies to an expansion of Slovenia,s strategic horizons and the development of a truly global security policy that is based on strategic partnerships within NATO and the EU.  We should applaud Slovenia for these achievements and this strategic vision and encourage it to expand its capabilities and contributions even further. 21. (SBU) More specifically, the GOS should be encouraged to stick to its commitment of spending two percent of GDP on defense by 2008.  Equally importantly, Slovenia should be encouraged to focus its defense spending on its NATO Force Goals, which will require a hefty commitment of human and material resources.  In policy terms, Slovenia is a proponent of continued NATO expansion and is likely to endorse our vision of streamlined partnerships, greater common funding, and an enhanced operational capability for the NATO Reaction Force.  Slovenia is keen to see the Alliance continue its successful transformation and plans to take an active role in providing security where it is needed.  As evidence of this, Slovenia has announced it plans to further increase its force contributions overseas from the current level of 6 percent of total deployable forces to 11 percent in 2007.  Your visit will be an opportunity to encourage Slovenia to stick to this commitment and to learn more about its plans for future deployments. ROBERTSON