Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cablegate And Egypt:The First Batch Goes On “3”

Here is the 3rd post dedicated to Egypt’s cables in the Wikileaks’ Cablegate. There are still mentions about Egypt directly and indirectly in that first batch. I expect there will be more especially the cables Wikileaks has got goes back to 1966 , yes 1966 which means more documents than what Heikal will wish for !!  Believe it or not I am waiting for the cables in the past more than the cables in the present , there are certain events which those cables can add more information to what we already know.
You can the first parts here and there.
Anyhow back to back , here are the cables and we have stopped at the eighth cable and we will move to the ninth cable. Again GOI stands for government of Israel , MFA stands for Ministry for foreign affairs, MOD stands for Ministry of defense, LAF stands for Lebanese army forces.
The Israelis were concerned about an American potential arms transfers to Lebanon and Saudi Arabia plus the usual complaint about Iran. The Israelis wanted to make sure that they still enjoy their qualitative military edge over other countries in the region. 
Israel understands U.S. policy intentions to arm moderate Arab states in the region to counter the Iranian threat, and prefers such sales originate from the United States instead of other countries like Russia or China. However, Israel continues to stress the importance of identifying potential risks that may become future threats or adversaries, and for this reason maintains several objections as indicated in the official GOI response to the QME non-paper on potential U.S. arms sales to the region
GOI interlocutors attempted to make the argument that moderate Arab countries could in the future become adversaries and that this should be taken into account in the QME process.During a roundtable discussion led by the MFA's Deputy Director General for Strategic Affairs Alon Bar, the MFA's Center for Policy Research gave intelligence briefs on Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Lebanon to further support the argument that these countries could become future foes. Policy Research Center interlocutors reviewed succession concerns in both Saudi Arabia and Egypt.Bar argued that a perceived closure in the capability gap between Israel and Arab states, coupled with a nuclear-armed Iran, could compel moderate Arab states to reassess the notion that Israel was a fixture in the region. 
Now to the jewel of this cable : 
MOD Political-Military Chief Amos Gilad was not certain how much longer Egyptian President Mubarak would live, and questioned whether his son Gamal was ready to assume command. Gilad said the Egyptian military led by Defense Minister Tantawi continues to train and exercise as if "Israel was its only enemy." He added that there were disturbing signs on the Egyptian streets, as women are dressed more conservatively, and that peace with Israel "is too thin, too superficial."  On Saudi Arabia, Gilad said that King Abdullah does not hate Israel, but his chief priority is the survival of the regime. 
There is no doubt that Israel is so concerned about Mubarak’s health and the succession plan in Egypt , there is no doubt that Israel does not like the fact that the Egyptian army still consider Israel as the enemy but this theory on how Peace is thin between Egypt and Israel based on the fact women dress conservatively. I realize that Israel is scared from conservatism and the increase of religious trend in Egypt but let’s not forget that in the peak hate and war between Egypt and Israel women did not wear conservatively compared to nowadays.Israel will always be alarmed from nationalists or Islamists or whoever comes in Egypt regardless women in Egypt wear Nakab or short skirts in Cairo. As Egyptian citizen I am more concerned with the increase of conservatism in Israel as it opposes more danger to peace not only in Egypt but in the Middle East.
Moving to Saudi Arabia Israel was so concerned with a potential arms transfer.
The GOI official response to the arms transfer 
non-paper includes several objections, such as the potential transfer of systems for the F-15SA to Saudi Arabia, including the Enhanced Paveway II, Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System, and AESA radar. Buchris said the GOI is ready to establish a working group to discuss the F-15SA transfer, and proposed an Israeli technical team accompany BG Heymann to Washington (in town for a missile defense meeting) on August 3 to discuss the issue further.  Buchris said the sale of the F-15SA was not the problem, but rather the weapons systems included on the planes and the location of the planes in Saudi Arabia. 
This can affect the future Arab-American arms transfer for real , Israel sends technical team to discuss the arms sold to Arab countries !!?? Not to mention the fact that Israel knows in advance the location of the planes in KSA !!? yes we know that America will not let any Arab country have an advance weapon Israel does not have. The discussion moved to Lebanon and the Lebanese army, the GOI was concerned about the arms transfer to the LAF.
Amos Gilad said the GOI does not believe the LAF will attack Israel. However, given the ties between Hizballah and the LAF, he was certain the IDF would eventually face the LAF in any conflict with Hizballah. 
And he was right actually. Moving to Iran and its nuclear program , Israel re-expressed its fear that Turkey , Egypt and Saudi Arabia start their nuclear programs too. 
Alluding to a potential military strike, Buchris said "all options must remain on the table," and acknowledged that part of his job was insuring Israel was ready to employ such an option, no matter how undesirable it may be. 
And we move to Palestine 
Buchris acknowledged that the Palestinian Authority was doing a "good job" in the West Bank, noting respect for Palestinian Security Forces (PASF) as they take more control of security.
This is not a praise to PASF I believe . The last part deals with the American concerns about the Israeli arms deals to China.No way Israel will choose China over the U.S.
Amos Gilad explained his view of the repercussions of an Iranian nuclear capability stating that it would give Iran a free hand in supporting "HAMAStan" in Gaza and "Hezbollahstan" in Lebanon. Gilad also argued that Saudi Arabia would definitely react to a nuclear Iran by obtaining a weapon (with Pakistani assistance) and Egypt would almost certainly follow.

Again Gilad is scared from the nuclear ambition of Egypt and Saudi Arabia , added it to this time “Pakistani assistance” . The Israelis mentioned are also concerned about how Iran and Hezbollah smuggle weapons to Gaza through Egypt and Sudan.
He expressed concern about Iranian shipments of weapons via Sudan to Egypt and into Gaza. 
Gilad later complained about Egypt’s role in the Palestinian factions reconciliation.
On this matter, Gilad mentioned that Egypt's role in pushing reconciliation is not helpful and often counterproductive, but that he expects Egypt to continue floating the idea at future junctures. 
Now there is complete section in that meeting dedicated to the military- military relations between Egypt and Israel aka the relations between the Egyptian army and IDF.
Amos Gilad commented that he would like to see a complete peace with Egypt, but noted there was very little in the way of Egyptian-Israeli military relations and that Egypt continued to train its military for war with Israel. Gilad stated that Egypt was not likely to attack Israel and did not represent a short-term threat, but that at the very least it was necessary to have modest contact between Egyptian and Israeli officers.  He expressed frustration by describing Egypt and Israel's "frozen peace" and that neither side knows anything about the other.  He noted that the last high-level military visit for Egypt was in 1991. 
So there is no direct contact between the Egyptian army and IDF and the Egyptian army still considers Israel as enemy. Mubarak knows there are red lines not to be crossed with the Egyptian army , if Mubarak wants to end his rule by a coup d’etat as simple as that , he can invite Amos Gilad to lecture “777” about peace. I wonder what that high level military visit for Egypt in 1991 war about !!?? It could be during the Gulf war I. The second part deals with the Egyptian efforts to stop smuggling through the Gaza borders.
The last part is dealing with Israel’s Iron Dome.
Egypt is only mentioned in the following :
Prem Kumar, Director for Israeli, Palestinian, Egyptian and Jordanian Affairs, NSC 
Kumar is the from the U.S participants in the meeting. Still there is something interesting in this cable that should be highlighted, Israelis complained about the sale of F-15 to Saudi Arabia and AMRAAM to Jordan.
The GOI expressed additional concerns about stationing these new aircraft at Tabuk airfield in the northwest corner of Saudi Arabia close to the Israeli border.  U.S. participants stated the USG understanding that this should not be an issue, as the Saudis are considering stationing new Typhoon aircraft at Tabuk.The GOI also raised AMRAAM sales to Jordan; U.S. participants explained that the new C-7 AMRAAM is an export version with capabilities similar to the C-5 version and therefore provides little to no increase in capabilities.
I am shocked that they were alarmed from the AMRAAM Sales to Jordan , with my all respect Israel should not be alarmed from Jordan as long as the Hashemites are following King Hussein’s footsteps and not his king Talal’s footsteps. The Israelis were concerned unsurprisingly from the Chinese and Russian support to Tehran.
She raised U.S. concerns over potential Egyptian actions at the RevCon, based on previous decades of behavior and "10-15 year-old talking points."  U/S Tauscher said the United States is not "naive" with respect to Egypt; nevertheless, the United States must make a sincere, good faith effort to create the conditions for a positive RevCon -this might include small steps with Israel to address some of Egypt's desire to demonstrate progress in implementation of the 1995 resolution on a region free of weapons of mass destruction. 

That said, U/S Tauscher reiterated that the United States would consult and coordinate with Israel, and would take no action that might compromise Israel's security.  She noted that the United States would like to elevate the NPT RevCon issue to President Mubarak at an appropriate time, and expressed interest in developing an alternate communication track to Mubarak to circumvent the MFA, potentially through Egyptian Intelligence Minister LTG Suleiman.  U/S Tauscher said her message to Cairo will be "very tough," and that Egyptian obstructionist behavior linking Israel to Iran's nuclear program is not helping Egypt. 
Arad described the Egyptian MFA, however, as a "nagging problem" in the relationship, particularly regarding the Middle East NWFZ issue, and noted Cairo's refusal to talk to FM Lieberman.  Other GOI officials expressed exasperation over Egyptian motivations on the NWFZ; Reich raised Egyptian behavior at the latest IAEA General Conference, as well as Cairo's negative reaction to the IAEA Board of Governor's recent statement on Iran.  Arad said Israel has supported a regional NWFZ as far back as 1992, provided Israel enjoyed peaceful relations with its neighbors.  He said the GOI has spoken frankly with Cairo, noting that such behavior is not helpful, and is misdirecting focus away from Iran.
Well bravo for the ministry of Foreign affairs then !!
Amos Gilad then opened his mouth :
MOD Political-Military Chief Amos Gilad said Egypt understands that Iran is the real threat to the region, noting that a nuclear weapon-armed Iran is a redline for Cairo.  He averred that Egypt does not accept that Iran will become a superpower, but remains afraid of its own domestic political situation post-Mubarak.Gilad expressed succession concerns, noting that Mubarak is "approaching the past more quickly than the future." He added that Mubarak does not have confidence in Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit. 
Mubarak does not have confidence in Abu El-Gait !!?? Then why he appointed him in the first place and why he is keeping him n the cabinet !!?? By the way aside from  Abu El Gait request to meet Clinton cable , do not you notice that he is absent too in the American-Egyptian relations !!?? It seems that this file is also from the files Soliman has got.
The Israelis wondered why Egypt is insisting on putting the Israeli nuclear program in her mind !!?? Is it to avoid public criticism or what !!?
IAEC Deputy Director General David Danieli concurred, noting that Egypt can use the nuclear issue to put Israel "in a corner" while benefiting from positive relations between the two countries.
Zefary-Odiz also reviewed her participation in an International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament conference in September 2009 in Cairo.She described the conference as "very confrontational," and that it was clear Israel was targeted by Egyptian interlocutors. Zefary-Odiz acknowledged that the GOI had anticipated such behavior, and contemplated skipping the conference.She noted that Egyptian officials also lambasted Iranian participants, but were always careful to include Israel and Iran in the same sentence. 
Chorev speculated that Egypt will aim to ruin the RevCon.  Bar said the Egyptians have not been held accountable for past bad behavior at the NPT RevCon -"they have never paid the price."  He noted that Cairo knows the 
importance the United States attaches to a successful RevCon, and therefore will try to leverage a "high price" in order not to ruin it.  He noted similar tactics with regard to Egypt's counter-smuggling efforts along the border with Gaza.
Gilad said Egypt should also be reminded that most countries in the region agree with the NWFZ concept in principle;the Egyptian MFA's insistence on an immediate NWFZ neither fits the current political reality nor makes sense as it diverts focus from Iranian intransigence.He noted that Egypt listens to the United States; it is therefore important to speak clearly and directly when taking the issue to Mubarak. 
Gilad knew the key : Speak directly to the big man !!
Chorev and Zefary-Odiz argued these steps had been tried in the past andhad failed.Danieli questioned why Israel should take any steps at all.  Based on experience at the IAEA &the UN First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, he said "nothing satisfies Egypt" as Cairo "pockets every concession" and demands more "it's a Slippery slope."Danieli said Israel will not "play by Egypt's rules."  Bar concurred, noting that Egypt will "raise the bar," and begin negotiations with these small steps as the baseline -he was skeptical such steps would prove helpful. 
“Nothing satisfies Egypt” !!
if Egypt is willing to include Pakistan in its definition of a Middle East NWFZ, then we can take that as a signal that Cairo is ready for a serious conversation on the matter. 
Well Egypt does not include Pakistan in the Middle East because simply Pakistan is not in the Middle East , it was in the Bush New Middle East !! Look to the map my dears.Now to the jewel of that cable , Jordan is having a nuclear program with the help of Israel
IAEC DG Chorev raised Jordanian plans to build a nuclear reactor.  He said the GOI has decided not to oppose the reactor, and have offered the Jordanians Israeli expertise on where best to build it.  Chorev said the IAEC formed a steering committee with its Jordanian counterpart comprised of three working groups focusing on safety, geological surveys, and water issues.  Chorev said the steering committee first met in Amman in June 2009, and is waiting to convene again.  Danieli stressed that the GOI does not want to hamper the Jordanian nuclear plans, but added that Israel has concerns about border issues and security associated with the reactor.  Timbie said the United States is pushing Jordan to sign a 123 Agreement along the same lines as the recent agreement signed with UAE, only stronger. Zefary-Odiz noted that Egypt is putting tremendous pressure on Jordan not to accept a 123 Agreement. 

By the way I have discovered that if you want to browse by origin , you will have to click on “C” to get Embassy Cairo still you will not find all the cables that speak about Egypt , you will only get the cables sent from the U.S Embassy in Cairo.

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