US embassy cable - 06TIRANA599

DEFENSE MINISTER: RAISE NUMBER OF TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN; REDUCE DEPLOYMENT IN BOSNIA

Identifier: 06TIRANA599
Wikileaks: View 06TIRANA599 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Tirana
Created: 2006-06-06 13:50:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL MARR NATO AL
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXYZ0002
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTI #0599 1571350
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P 061350Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY TIRANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4379
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS 2922
RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE 2717
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1135
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1194
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RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 5287
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RUEHSQ/AMEMBASSY SKOPJE 4115
RUEHVB/AMEMBASSY ZAGREB 2939
RUFNPKB/COMUSNAVEUR NAPLES IT
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHPS/USDAO PRISTINA SR
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 3270
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 2157
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RUEHPS/USOFFICE PRISTINA 3419
C O N F I D E N T I A L TIRANA 000599 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/SCE (BENEDICT, SAINZ) 
NSC FOR BRAUN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/05/2016 
TAGS: PREL, MARR, NATO, AL 
SUBJECT: DEFENSE MINISTER: RAISE NUMBER OF TROOPS IN 
AFGHANISTAN; REDUCE DEPLOYMENT IN BOSNIA 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Marcie B. Ries for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C)  SUMMARY:  Defense Minister Mediu told Ambassador that 
he wanted to expand Albania's troop presence in Afghanistan 
from 22 troops to a company of 120 and that he further wanted 
them to be deployed with Italian, rather than Turkish, forces 
so that they could conduct a broader range of missions and 
better their NATO capability. Mediu hopes to raise this issue 
with SecDef Rumsfeld during meetings June 7-8 in Brussels. 
Mediu also said that Albanian forces in Bosnia should be 
minimized because their current role was not active enough 
and thus not preparing them for NATO.  Mediu also criticized 
the Greeks for disinterring bones of Greek soldiers without 
fully consulting his Ministry.  End summary. 
 
2. (C)  Ambassador and ODC's outgoing and incoming chiefs met 
with Defense Minister Mediu and Chief of General Staff Qazimi 
on May 31.  Mediu said he wanted to shift the deployment of 
Albanian troops in Afghanistan.  (Note: Currently, the 
Albanians have 22 troops from the Rapid Reaction Brigade 
deployed under a Turkish company-sized unit.)  Mediu said the 
Turkish troops were conscripts and that there were many 
caveats attached to the missions the joint unit could 
perform.  These issues combined, he said, to produce a 
deployment where the Albanian troops were not doing useful 
work and were not learning how to become NATO interoperable. 
 
3. (C)  Mediu indicated he wanted not only to shift the 
deployment, but also to enlarge it to a company-sized unit 
(approximately 120 personnel).  Mediu said the ideal 
deployment would be with an Italian battalion because the 
Italians were already heavily involved with the training of 
Albania's Rapid Reaction Brigade and there would not be the 
caveats that come with the Turkish deployment. 
 
4. (C)  On Bosnia, Mediu said he wanted to decrease the 
deployment to the EUFOR Althea mission (currently 70 troops 
from the Rapid Reaction Brigade).  Mediu and Qazimi explained 
that the Althea mission was not demanding at the moment and 
the troops were not progressing in their training to reach 
either NATO standards or preparedness for more demanding 
deployments in the GWOT.  Mediu acknowledged the political 
difficulties involved, as the deployment in Bosnia was with a 
German unit. 
 
5. (C)  Mediu mentioned that he was still in discussions with 
JFC Naples Commander Admiral Ulrich to define Albania's 
participation in Operation Active Endeavor.  He said he would 
like to have Albanian naval officers as observers on Italian 
NATO ships. 
 
6. (C)  Mediu confirmed his participation in a meeting of all 
Defense Ministers involved in deployments to Afghanistan 7-8 
June in Brussels, which Secretary Rumsfeld is expected to 
attend.  Mediu said, provided he had the opportunity, he 
intended to raise the following points with Secretary 
Rumsfeld: 
 
-- Re-deployment of Albanian troops in Afghanistan (as noted 
above). 
-- A second deployment of SEEBRIG to Afghanistan when the 
current six-month deployment is up. 
-- The Southeast European Defense Ministerial (SEDM) in 
Albania in September. 
RIES 

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