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Zaterdag, 15 Januari 2011 | Bewerkt door Crethi Plethi

F-35 JSF

WikiLeaks: Nederland Positief over Relatie met VS en Over JSF Deelname

Document: Ambtsbericht van de Amerikaanse ambassade in Den Haag over de aanschaf van de JSF: Nederland is positief, maar staatssecretaris Van der Knaap wil geen Tactical Tomahawk raketten. Hij ziet dat als “een speeltje” van de vorige minister Kamp.

Lees ook het op 16 december 2010 gepubliceerde artikel “WikiLeaks: Nederland Belangrijke Bondgenoot VS” over de JSF kwestie.


Bron: WikiLeaks/NOS


104668,

4/17/2007 13:27,

07THEHAGUE714,

“Embassy The Hague”,

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8880
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RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHDC PRIORITY
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“,”C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 000714

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/UBI, EUR/RPM

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/17/2017
TAGS: MARR, MOPS, NATO, PINS, PREL, AF, NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/JSF/AFGHANISTAN: POSITIVE ON JSF;
OTHER ISSUES LOOMING

Classified By: Ambassador Roland Arnall, reasons 1.4 (b,d)

1. (C) Summary: In his first meeting with Ambassador Arnall
since the formation of the new government, State Secretary
for Defense Cees van der Knaap acknowledged the GONL will
make a decision on extending in Afghanistan by the end of the
summer — but his instincts tell him the Dutch will remain in
Uruzgan province in a reduced role. He positively described
relations with the United States, especially regarding
continued Dutch involvement with the Joint Strike Fighter
(JSF) program. However, several issues — noise pollution
from NATO AWACS aircraft, the C-17 strategic airlift
initiative, and some defense investment projects like NATO’s
Air Ground Surveillance (AGS) program and the acquisition of
tactical Tomahawk missiles — remain troublesome. Van der
Knaap discussed these issues with Ambassador Arnall on April
16. End summary.

Afghanistan: Extension Decision Looming
—————————————

2. (C) Van der Knaap briefly addressed Afghanistan, noting
that due to reduced helicopter and engineering support, it
will be very difficult to continue the Dutch deployment in
Uruzgan province in its current capacity beyond the two-year
commitment ending in July 2008. Van der Knaap said the
Cabinet will make a decision on possibly extending by the end
of the summer, but added that his instincts told him the
Dutch would stay in a reduced role. Getting to this decision
will not be easy, he said. Van der Knaap was confident that
Defense Minister van Middelkoop and Foreign Minister Verhagen
will fight to extend, but the government coalition member
Labor Party (PvdA) — including specifically Finance Minister
and Labor Party leader Wouter Bos — does not support
continuing the Dutch mission in Uruzgan. “”And Bos holds the
purse strings”” to a possible extension, van der Knaap said.

AWACS Re-Engining: The Sound and the Fury
—————————————–

3. (C) Van der Knaap said he continues to face stiff
questioning from the Dutch parliament on finding a solution
to noise caused by NATO Airborne Warning and Control System
(AWACS) E-3 aircraft from the airbase just across the border
in Geilenkirchen, Germany. He said on a scale of one to ten,
with ten being the worst problem currently facing the Dutch
MOD, AWACS noise pollution rated an eight. Parliamentarians
constantly demand the GONL refuse AWACS aircraft flight
permission over the Netherlands, he lamented. To date, he
has successfully argued that would do more harm to Dutch
credibility within the alliance than the good it would afford
Dutch inhabitants nearby Geilenkirchen — but even that was
becoming more difficult.

4. (C) Van der Knaap said Defense Minister van Middelkoop
will raise AWACS noise pollution with his colleagues at this
year’s defense ministerial. Van der Knaap argued that with
the possible exception of moving the base — which would be
cost prohibitive — the only noise reduction option the Dutch
see is replacing current AWACS aircraft engines with a
quieter, more efficient engine. He noted the possibility of
replacing AWACS engines with those currently being replaced
in JSTARS E-8 aircraft or with rebuilt engines coming out of
JSTARS aircraft, but acknowledged that the Dutch have to
research whether such a swap is feasible and economical.

5. (C) As the largest stakeholder in the AWACS program, van
der Knaap asked if the USG could support the Dutch in their
bid to “”re-engine”” AWACS aircraft. Ambassador Arnall
sympathized but argued that the issue is one for NATO and not
just the United States — the Dutch should make the economic
case in favor of re-engining to NATO. He noted no current
operational requirement to replace AWACS aircraft engines,
while USG resources were dedicated to other efforts in Iraq
and Afghanistan. He offered assistance in getting the Dutch
more information regarding the new JSTAR engines. Van der
Knaap understood, noting that he had been told the same by
Under Secretary of Defense Edelman last year. But the issue
was “”not going away”” for the Dutch, and he intended to raise
the issue again when he next visits Washington.

JSF: On Track
————-

6. (C) Van der Knaap was highly optimistic regarding
continued Dutch participation in the Joint Strike Fighter
(JSF) program, and said he intends to travel to Washington
during the second week in July to sign the program’s
Operational Test and Evaluation MOU. He said the MOD soon
will submit a prior permission request to purchase the first
of two JSF test aircraft. He pointed to the new government’s
coalition accord as a positive signal on JSF, and stressed
that purchasing the plane was one of the government’s main
goals. Much depends on the independent, third-party review
of the program early next year, but he was confident that the
review would confirm that JSF was the best plane for the best
price.

7. (C) Van der Knaap also asked about USG commitment to the
program citing press reports of program budget cuts.
Ambassador Arnall assured him the USG was committed and that
continual budget discussions between the executive and
legislative branches was the norm. He promised to provide an
update on the status of U.S. budget discussions concerning
JSF to van der Knaap’s staff.

C-17 Initiative: Still Not Satisfied
————————————

8. (C) Van der Knaap reiterated the GONL’s urgent needs for
strategic airlift and expressed appreciation for on-going
negotiations at NATO to reduce the cost associated with the
C-17 initiative. However, he was frustrated that it was now
clear the Dutch must pay an up-front finance charge despite
earlier assurances. He doubted the GONL could afford the 100
million Euro up-front finance charge as it currently stands,
while the 30,000 Euro cost per flight hour also was
prohibitive. Van der Knaap said the Dutch believe there is
still “”room to maneuver”” to reduce costs, and asked the USG
to consider every possibility in working group negotiations.
Ambassador Arnall pointed to other obstacles created by
France and Germany regarding the initiative, and commended
the Dutch for their leadership role in the working group
deliberations. He added that reducing the cost of the
initiative also was in the interests of the USG as a
participating nation.

Defense Budget Cuts: TACTOM Dead; AGS, Too?
——————————————-

9. (C) Van der Knaap said the MOD continues to feel the
effects of defense budget cuts, and is facing some difficult
decisions regarding defense investment projects like NATO’s
Air Ground Surveillance (AGS) project or acquiring tactical
Tomahawk (TACTOM) missiles. He described Dutch deliberations
over AGS as “”purely an internal, Dutch problem”” — the
reduced budget has led to new priorities, and AGS has fallen
victim to political posturing exacerbated by program delays.
He said there was a 70-80 percent chance the Dutch will pull
out of AGS; the GONL will make a decision by the end of
April/early May. He was “”ashamed”” the Dutch may pull out,
especially as he claimed the Dutch were recently instrumental
in persuading the French and Germans to remain in the
program. He feared a Dutch withdrawal may be used as an
excuse by Paris and Berlin to do likewise.

10. (C) Turning to TACTOM, van der Knaap described the
potential purchase as a “”toy”” of former defense Minister
Kamp. “”The current defense minister does not approve of this
toy,”” he said. He further explained that with the budget
cuts and priorities like strategic airlift and JSF, there was
no money for TACTOM. “”On a scale of one to ten, with ten
being dead, TACTOM is an absolute ten,”” he quipped.

Comment
——-

11. (C) Van der Knaap is an experienced politician that
successfully brokered his continued role in the new
government — one of only three cabinet members to keep their
portfolios. It is too early to tell whether van der Knaap
and new Defense Minister van Middelkoop have a good working
relationship. But given van der Knaap’s comments on TACTOM
and Kamp — especially as the TACTOM purchase order was a
relatively insignificant amount of approximately USD 60
million — it appears he is working hard to ensure the
relationship with his new boss starts out on the right foot.

ARNALL


3 Comments to “WikiLeaks: Nederland Positief over Relatie met VS en Over JSF Deelname”

  1. #WikiLeaks: #Nederland Positief over Relatie met #VS en over #JSF Deelname | http://j.mp/eVsVjP

  2. avatar Elisabeth says:

    RT @CrethiPlethi: #WikiLeaks: #Nederland Positief over Relatie met #VS en over #JSF Deelname | http://j.mp/eVsVjP

  3. […] blijkt volgens een cable van de Amerikaanse ambassade in Den Haag ‘slechts’ de aankoop van de Tactical Tomahawk raketten die staatssecretaris […]


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