Cable sobre la popularidad de Zapatero

En enero de 2005, el 'número dos' de la Embajada explica que la imagen del presidente salió fortalecida tras la retirada de las tropas de Irak

en
ID: 25295
Date: 2005-01-12 16:02:00
Origin: 05MADRID109
Source: Embassy Madrid
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Dunno: 05STATE2743
Destination: This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


C O N F I D E N T I A L MADRID 000109

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/11/2015
TAGS: PREL, MARR, AF, SP, NATO
SUBJECT: SPAIN: NO DECISION YET ON ISAF STAGE II
CONTRIBUTION

REF: STATE 02743

Classified By: CHARGE D'AFFAIRS BOB MANZANARES; REASON 1.4 (B) AND (D).

1. (C) Poloff delivered reftel points to Deputy National
Security Adviser Maria Jesus Alonso on 1/11, following up on
recent Embassy calls on Alonso and other GOS officials to
encourage Spanish participation in ISAF Stage II through
leadership of a PRT. Poloff stressed the importance of the
issue to the USG and to NATO of Spanish participation at a
substantive level. Poloff said that the USG had been
confused by mixed signals regarding Spain's readiness to
participating in NATO expansion into western Afghanistan. On
the one hand, we understood from our GOS interlocutors in
Madrid that President Zapatero has made no decision regarding
the scope and nature of the Spanish deployment in ISAF II and
that Spain's new requirement of "consultations" with
Parliament prior to new deployments presented a further
political complication. However, in NATO/ISAF councils,
Spanish officials indicated a readiness to proceed with new
deployments, including a possible PRT. Specifically, Spanish
officials on a recent scouting mission to Afghanistan seemed
prepared to support a doubling of the Spanish deployment to
1,000 troops and perhaps to take on a PRT in Qaleh-ye and/or
the Herat FSB. The USG took this to mean that Spain is
leaning towards leading a PRT.

2. (C) Alonso said that Spain understood its commitment to
the NATO mission in Afghanistan and would continue to
participate in that mission. She emphasized that the
composition of Spanish forces would be based primarily on the
recommendations of the MFA and MOD. While she hadn't yet
seen the recommendations of the Spanish team that visited
Afghanistan January 7-10, she said their input would be
important in operational terms. Alonso said she did not
expect the requirement for consultations with Parliament to
be a problem, except with respect to timing since Parliament
does not reconvene until the first week in February. She
cautioned, however, that the GOS had to bear in mind public
skepticism of Spanish involvement in virtually any military
mission, which Afghanistan certainly was despite the
humanitarian component. Also, she suggested that Spain's
recent deployment to support tsunami relief operations in
Indonesia (594 troops, five airplanes, two helicopters, a
medical unit, and several ships) had stretched Spanish
manpower and resources, which might present a problem GOS
planners hadn't forseen with repect to the GOS contribution
to Afghanistan. The mission in Indonesia is currently
expected to last two months.

3. (C) Poloff also delivered reftel points to MFA Deputy
Director General for Foreign Policy Felix Costales and noted
our confusion regarding Spain's position on leading a PRT.
Costales said that a PRT would be a very new type of project
for the GOS and that there were ongoing internal discussions
regarding the composition of a Spanish-led PRT. Most
importantly, Spain did not want a primarily military PRT such
as those led by the U.S. and the UK, but instead wanted to
emphasize the humanitarian aspect of such a mission. Like
Alonso, Costales noted that Spain's delivery of aid and
assistance to victims of the tsunami disaster presented a
possible complication for Spain's contribution to ISAF Stage
II.

//COMMENT//

4. (C) We have heavily lobbied the GOS at all levels of the
MOD, MFA, and the President's staff to lead a PRT and/or
other important missions in Afghanistan. General B. B. Bell
made a strong pitch to Spanish officers on the margins of a
1/10 visit to his NATO counterpart in Madrid. While the GOS
military is clearly anxious to take on a larger role, their
political leaders are far more cautious. In a recent meeting
with Charge, National Security Adviser equivalent Carles
Casajuana was adamant that no new Spanish deployment could
move forward without Parliamentary approval. Spain's
contribution to tsunami relief operations is a new twist and
could tempt the GOS to further delay a tough decision on its
participation in ISAF II. We will continue to push the GOS
hard on this issue, but recognize that their strong aversion
to operations that could result in military casualties is a
very significant impediment. Zapatero's officials are well
aware that the popularity of his government is based mainly
on his reversal of former President Aznar's unpopular
decision to deploy Spanish forces to Iraq. The GOS does not
want to give the opposition a similar opportunity.
MANZANARES

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