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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09LONDON2198 2009-09-22 14:02 2011-02-04 21:09 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy London
DE RUEHLO #2198/01 2651413
R 221413Z SEP 09
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 LONDON 002198 


EO 12958 DECL: 09/21/2019 

Classified By: Political Counselor Robin Quinville for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (S/NF) Summary: Under Secretary Tauscher held meetings in London on September 2-4 on the margins of the P5 Conference on Confidence Building Measures Towards Nuclear Disarmament with Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Simon McDonald, Head of the Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat at the Cabinet Office, Mariot Leslie, Director General, Defence and Intelligence, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and Jon Day, MOD Director General for Security Policy. The UK interlocutors expressed broad support for USG goals with regard to nonproliferation and disarmament and highlighted the need for close P3 and P5 coordination in the lead-up to the UNSC Heads of Goverment Summit and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Confererence (RevCon). They also predicted that UK arms control policy would not be affected either by next year’s elections or the upcoming Strategic Defense Review. McDonald cited the need to get tough with Iran if it did not respond to overtures by the end of September. U/S Tauscher expressed continued commitment to ratification of the Defense Trade Treaty and noted that she is working with the Senate to resolve questions concerning implementation. End Summary

Welcoming U.S. Leadership

2. (S/NF) While in London for the September 3-4 P5 Conference on Confidence Building Measures Towards Nuclear Disarmament, U/S Tauscher held separate meetings September 2-4 with Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Simon McDonald, Head of the Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat at the Cabinet Office, Mariot Leslie, Director General, Defence and Intelligence, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and Jon Day, MOD Director General for Security Policy. The British interlocutors underscored that the UK welcomes U.S. leadership on nonproliferation, disarmament and arms control.  FS Miliband expressed appreciation for President Obama’s Prague speech, observing that the process for getting to “a world at or close to zero in terms of nuclear arms is not a straight line” but is long and complex. McDonald said that for the last forty years the nuclear states have downplayed the obligation to spread civil nuclear power and to disarm; President Obama’s leadership presents an opportunity to change that dynamic. DG Leslie observed that UK decision makers are “fired up by how the President has made the (nonproliferation) agenda his own.” Prime Minister Brown wants to “refresh and refurbish” the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), she said. DG Day said he was “delighted” that the U.S. has “resumed leadership” on nonproliferation, arms control and disarmament.

Maintaining P3 and P5 Unity

3. (S/NF) Leslie stressed that the UK position is “really very similar to your Administration on nearly everything.” The UK’s goal is for the P5 to work well together but we should “not scare the horses,” which means “not scaring off the French” and “keeping the Chinese and Russians on board.” She acknowledged that it was “hard to get everyone together” for the 9/3-4 P5 Conference, but expressed hope that it would help cement P5 unity in the lead-up to the NPT Review Confererence (RevCon). Day acknowledged that the 9/3-4 P5 Conference was not a vehicle designed to make progress by “leaps and bounds.” He stressed that “the engagement is valuable” and would help cement P5 unity.

4. (S/NF) We need a strong, but unanimous, signal from the UN Security Council (UNSC) at the UNSC Heads of Government Summit, Simon McDonald stressed, noting that the first draft resolution was a disappointment. The UK interlocutors agreed on the importance of P5 unity at the summit, as well as on the importance of close P3 and P5 coordination in the lead-up to the summit and to the NPT RevCon. McDonald also observed that Libya was on the UNSC and that the P5 should take positive note of the fact that Libya has made a “strategic shift” on nuclear proliferation.

France and P3 Unity

5. (S/NF) DG Leslie said that the UK had done a “lot of hard
LONDON 00002198 002 OF 005
work and expressed a commitment to disarmament...and the French are uncomfortable with this.” Leslie said that the UK “gets on well” with the French, but the French are “excessively worried about what they view as unilateral UK disarmament.” She said that P3 talks would help maintain P3 unity; “We need to reassure France,” she said. Leslie characterized closer U.S.-France relations as “extremely healthy.”

6. (S/NF) U/S Tauscher, Leslie, and Day agreed to regular P3 meetings, starting in October, to help cement P3 unity. French interlocutors also agreed, during separate bilateral meetings with Tauscher, on the importance of regular P3 consultations.

Missile Defense and the Nuclear Posture Review
--------------------------------------------- - 

7. (S/NF) U/S Tauscher described the Missile Defense review underway in Washington, with emphasis on countering the Iranian missile threat to Europe with proven technology. She also described the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which would replace the 2002 NPR and would address questions such as extended deterrence and security assurances. Her UK interlocutors expressed considerable interest in both reviews, and she made clear the U.S. would consult bilaterally and with NATO as soon as the reviews progress to that point.

Political consensus on a Strategic Defense Review
--------------------------------------------- ---- 

8. (S/NF) Day acknowledged that “the next year will be pretty disruptive” in the UK as the two major parties prepare for the next general election. He stressed that both the Labour and Conservative parties are committed to a Strategic Defense Review after the election. He predicted that neither political conflict between the two major parties nor the defense review would affect arms control policy, although he advised that these factors “may distract the attention” of political leaders. He predicted that “defense will be a bigger issue than it usually is” during the British electoral period. He cited intense debate over Britain’s role in Afghanistan and the “defense budget crisis” as two prominent issues.

9. (S/NF) Day opined that “mobilizing” NATO allies after General McChrystal released the results of his review would be “very difficult.” “Our message” to the U.S. is “bear with us... we will continue to work closely with you,” Day said. He pledged to work closely with the U.S. on the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and National Posture Review (NPR) as well as on the UK’s Strategic Defense Review. In regard to the UK review, Day observed that he had worked on the last review in 1997-98, and he bemoaned the lack of institutional memory within HMG regarding the review process.

10. (S/NF) Day also promised that the UK had “put measures in place to protect your interests” during the UK inquiry into the causes of the Iraq war. He noted that Iraq seems no longer to be a major issue in the U.S., but he said it would become a big issue -- a “feeding frenzy” -- in the UK “when the inquiry takes off.”


11. (S/NF) Tauscher made clear that Iran needed to respond to the P5 1 offer prior to the UNGA, at which point there would be a stock-taking; absent progress, attention would turn to substantially stronger sanctions. FS Milband opined that U.S. Administration is “rightly trying to overcome a deficit of prejudice and mistrust in a relatively short time” by diplomatic outreach to Iran. He continued that the Iranian elections were a “bad outcome” -- an outcome that had given extremists the upper hand and resulted in a “culling of reformists.” Miliband said that, in his opinion, Iran’s extremist government would not make concessions in a short time. Nonetheless, the U.S. “Administration’s support for a diplomatic solution is very wise.” He praised the impact of financial sanctions spearheaded by Treasury U/S Levey. Leslie asserted that the Iranian administration is “in a state of flux” and “not focused,” so probably unable to respond to overtures.
LONDON 00002198 003 OF 005

12. (S/NF) McDonald stressed that the PM supports the President’s outreach efforts to Iran, but this outreach should not be “open ended.” The UK view is that “if Iran is not responsive, we have to get serious.” UK experts have concluded that stronger sanctions should be in place by the end of the year if Iran is not significantly responsive by the end of September. McDonald observed that it would take some time to negotiate a UNSCR; in the meantime, the UK is considering national steps it could take as well as possible steps the EU could take. HMG shares NSA Jones’ view that proliferation problems posed by Iran and North Korea should be addressed together, not as separate, unrelated issues, McDonald said.

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)

13. (S/NF) UK interlocutors sought an update from U/S Tauscher on the progress toward U.S. Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) -- and on the President’s leadership on CTBT ratification. Tauscher said the ratification of the CTBT had high priority. START had a certain urgency, given the December 5 expiration; we were working in parallel to prepare for ratification of CTBT, including a new National Academy study, a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), and a funded program to modernize our nuclear infrastructure. UK interlocutors made clear they would welcome U.S. CTBT ratification, which would be a tangible sign to the world of U.S. commitment to nuclear nonproliferation. McDonald noted that since the 1993 Executive Order, the U.S. has acted as if the CTBT had been ratified, which he characterized as an argument that could persuade reluctant senators. UK interlocutors also sought an update from Tauscher on the progress of START negotiations and the status of the NPR.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

14. (S/NF) “We need to put some steel in Director General-elect Amano,” Miliband opined. Amano has a key role and he “must be a leader and a consensus-builder who reports faithfully what experts tell him.” McDonald observed that the IAEA seems more prepared than it has in the past to address Iranian conduct. Tauscher agreed we need to make Amano a success.

Russia-Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START)
--------------------------------------------- - 

15. (S/NF) Leslie commended U.S.-Russian progress on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) talks. She said that the UK was looking for the U.S. to deal with Russia since “our relations (with Russia) are very poor.” Leslie said that despite UK-Russia bilateral problems, HMG would be able to work with Russia through the NPT process and she expressed hope that Russia “could do the right thing” to address global proliferation. She noted the Russian proposal for a conference that could help address Egyptian concerns. Day opined that after START negotiations are successfully concluded, Russia might be inclined to seek “another deal” in regard to Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE), since such discussions would “keep them at the top table” in terms of negotiations.

China, Pakistan

16. (S/NF) Leslie flagged the “inconvenient truth” that “China is building its nuclear arsenal.” She evoked an arms race in the Pacific in light of India’s nuclear program. Nonetheless, Leslie said she was optimistic regarding China’s commitment to multilateral cooperation and she suggested that the U.S. and the UK should push China for progress “until they say ‘stop it’.” She noted that the Chinese had “pretty much” said a year ago that if the U.S. ratifies the CTBT, China would follow suit. Further, China has “dumped” Pakistan in the Conference on Disarmament (CD), which is a “good sign.” Tauscher urged P5 action to get Pakistan to stop blocking progress in the CD on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).

17. (S/NF) The UK has deep concerns about the safety and
LONDON 00002198 004 OF 005
security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, and China could play a big role in stabilizing Pakistan, Leslie said. Pakistan has accepted nuclear safety help, but under the IAEA flag (albeit British technicians). The Pakistanis worry that the U.S. “will drop in and take their nukes,” Leslie said.

18. (S/NF) Day expressed support for the development of a “cold war”-like relationship between India and Pakistan that would “introduce a degree of certainty” between the two countries in their dealings. He noted that recent intelligence indicates that Pakistan “is not going in a good direction.” Pakistan sees the debate about Afghanistan in the U.S. and the UK as demonstrating that the allies lack the will to maintain their commitment there. The Pakistanis also believe that their recent successes against extremists in the Swat valley validate their belief that they can deal with their own internal problems without changing their approach toward India. Day asked if the U.S. would be “obliged” to cut relations with Pakistan if the military took over again; he said that the last time the military assumed power the UK had maintained military-to-military ties. Day also asked for the U.S. perspective on Nawaz Sharif, whom he described as “potentially less venal” than other Pakistani leaders.

Nonproliferation and Public Diplomacy

19. (S/NF) Leslie opined that P5 states are “losing the public diplomacy arguments about nonproliferation” and civil nuclear power, with the P3 and the P5 “being portrayed as the bad guy.” Day expressed a similar sentiment, noting that there is “no real recognition” of what the UK has done in terms of nonproliferation and disarmament, “either in our own media or worldwide.” U/S Tauscher agreed that we all need to do a much better job of getting our narrative out, and noted that the State Department has brought in new people to help to do that.

20. (S/NF) Leslie acknowledged that there had been divisions within HMG about the strategy for addressing proliferation. In Leslie’s view, the risk of proliferation is a bigger threat than terrorism but it ranks lower than terrorism on the public’s list of perceived threats. She flagged efforts both by states and by terrorist groups to obtain nuclear weapons. She cited former FS Beckett’s speech at the Carnegie International Nonproliferation Conference in June 2007 as setting out the UK’s commitment to a nuclear free world. In HMG’s view, President Obama’s Prague speech expressed the same commitment. Disarmament alone )- without successfully addressing proliferation )- would not make the world safer, so “we need to manage disarmament,” Leslie stated. She rejected the French assertion that that the U.S. and the UK are “starting a (public) debate that is not there” by publicly addressing issues of nuclear disarmament.

Civil Nuclear Cooperation

21. (S/NF) UK interlocutors noted HMG’s commitment to civil nuclear power and that the nuclear weapons states have done a poor job in terms of Article IV of the NPT. FS Miliband commented that the nuclear weapons states have a credibility problem with the non-nuclear weapons states. Leslie said that the UK had demonstrated its commitment to “moving forward” civil nuclear issues, citing the UK-hosted and organized nuclear fuel cycle conference in March 2009 as an example. Tauscher agreed that we should support nuclear power and nuclear cooperation in a manner that does not lead to the spread of dangerous technologies, citing our agreement with the UAE as an example.

Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)

22. (S/NF) FS Miliband asked about the status of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), insisting “we are not trying to keep people from bearing arms in the USA.” He asked if it was “conceivable” for the U.S. to ratify the treaty. Tauscher stated she was not optimistic given the Second Amendment issues being raised by opponents, but said the Administration was planning to review the ATT and we are prepared to listen to the UK make its case on this issue. FS Miliband said that the UK launched its campaign in favor of the ATT in September 2008 with the support of some U.S. companies.
LONDON 00002198 005 OF 005

23. (S/NF) Day observed that there is “sometimes a sense” that the FCO “pushes” the ATT while the MOD opposes it. He stressed that the MOD and the UK defense industry “support strongly” the ATT. He said that he had personally seen the impact of MANPADS in Sierra Leone, and stated that ground to air missile proliferation is a major problem that the ATT could address. “Given our operational deployments in Afghanistan, we’re focused on” the ATT,” he said.

NATO - Strategic Concept

24. (S/NF) Day raised the NATO Strategic Concept review, predicting a major debate in the Alliance about deterrence and its strategic dimensions. A “major objective” should be “to minimize fallout” on nuclear issues. He noted that the Secretary General (SYG) would prepare the first draft. The North Atlantic Council (NAC) will need to review the final product since the first stage of work is done among a small group of nations and many others will be “suspicious.” The direction of NATO’s debate will depend on the outcome of the German elections: the Social Democratic Party (SPD) could force a debate, while the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) would not, Day said. Day volunteered that he had been “soured” by the last two Strategic Concepts. Tauscher said that the USG would be addressing some of the issues in developing the Strategic Concept as part of our Nuclear Posture Review.

25. (S/NF) Day said SYG Rasmussen “must not take his foot off the accelerator of reform.” The SYG must be a strong leader, needs “some early wins,” and must have the kind of access in Washington that former NATO SYG Robertson had, Day said.

Defense Trade Treaty

26. (S/NF) UK interlocutors sought an update from U/S Tauscher on the status in the Senate of the U.S.-UK Defense Trade Treaty. Tauscher explained that we are working with the Senate to resolve questions concerning implementation. Day emphasized that the Treaty “matters operationally... this is the sort of stuff that saves lives.” McDonald stressed that the Treaty was not just an agreement between two leaders, former President Bush and former Prime Minister Blair, “but an agreement between our two systems.” McDonald expressed appreciation for Tauscher’s affirmation that implementing legislation is not necessary for the Treaty to go into force. Tauscher replied that the purpose of the Treaty was to cut red tape, and we don,t want to put it back in the implementation. Leslie stressed that the UK did not want to “complicate” the Administration’s efforts to get the Treaty fully ratified. The UK interlocutors expressed appreciation for Tauscher’s commitment to the Treaty’s ratification and her explanation of the Administration’s steps to achieve that goal.

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
--------------------------------------------- -------------- 

27. (S/NF) FS Miliband asked for U.S. support for UK candidate John Freeman as Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Director General.
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