08TBILISI2399, GEORGIA: OPPOSITION PARLIAMENTARIANS PROPOSE NEW

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI2399 2008-12-15 14:41 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO6517
PP RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2399/01 3501441
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 151441Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0578
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 002399 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/11/2018 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KDEM GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: OPPOSITION PARLIAMENTARIANS PROPOSE NEW 
NATIONAL SECURITY STRUCTURE 
 
REF: TBILISI 2225 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (U) Summary: Members of the Parliamentary minority faction 
Christian-Democrats (CDM) have presented a plan for a new 
national security initiative, including a new structure for 
the national security council.  The initiative is intended to 
address the problems identified in the aftermath of Georgia's 
response to Russia's August invasion.  The proposed new NSC 
mirrors many elements of the United States National Security 
Council structure.  The CDM proposal envisions a higher level 
"Deputies Commission" consisting of deputy ministers and a 
lower level "Senior Commission" made up of ministry 
department heads.  The Senior Commission would work with a 
"Working Group" of relevant professionals and executives, who 
would implement the orders of the Deputies and Senior 
Commissions.  Parliament would consult with and provide staff 
to the Working Group and Senior Commissions on an as-needed 
basis.  The Christian-Democrats are currently drafting 
legislation in order to formally introduce this proposal to 
the Parliament.  End Summary. 
 
CDM PROPOSES NEW NSC 
 
2. (U) On December 8, CDM members of the Parliament presented 
a plan for a new national security initiative, including a 
new structure for the national security council, to the 
diplomatic corps.  The Christian-Democrats plan to turn their 
proposal into a bill for consideration by the Parliament. 
(Note:  Embassy has emailed a scanned version of the proposed 
structure to EUR-CARC.  End note.)  MP Nikoloz Laliashvili, 
who also sits on the ad-hoc Parliamentary Committee 
investigating the August conflict (reftel), presented the 
proposal.  Faction leader Giorgi Targamadze and Deputy 
Speaker Levan Vepkhvadze also attended the presentation. 
 
A PLAN TO FIX PROBLEMS 
 
3. (U) Laliashvili said the initiative was intended to 
address the many problems identified in the aftermath of 
Georgia's response to Russia's August invasion.  These 
problems include:a lack of institutionalization within 
existing structures, lack of expertise at multiple levels 
both within and outside government, lack of interagency 
cooperation in times of crisis, an inadequate security 
council structure, and inadequate security council staff 
(both in number and capability).  In addressing these 
problems, the new initiative aims to: facilitate inter-agency 
communication, develop cooperation and coordination between 
governmental bodies, develop Georgia's security sector to 
NATO standard (therefore meeting key NATO recommendations), 
develop strategic national security plans, and include 
national security priorities in all governmental agencies' 
plans. 
 
TWO COMMISSIONS TO COORDINATE THE INTERAGENCY 
 
4. (U) The proposed National Security Council (NSC) structure 
would consist of a higher level "Deputies Commission" and a 
lower level "Senior Commission."  The Deputies Commission 
would include deputy ministers and heads of relevant ministry 
departments.  It would be chaired by the Secretary of the 
NSC, who would report directly to President Saakashvili.  The 
Deputies Commission's primary responsibility would be to 
formulate strategic concepts, make appropriate 
recommendations to the president, and implement inter-agency 
coordination on defense and security reforms.  The Senior 
Commission would consist of heads of ministry departments and 
relevant agencies.  This commission would identify objectives 
and plan events to implement the proposals of the Deputies 
Commission.  In addition, it would identify needs and 
QCommission.  In addition, it would identify needs and 
directions of national security issues, and make 
recommendations on these to the Deputies Commission. 
 
...A WORKING GROUP, AND PARLIAMENT 
 
5. (U) The Senior Commission would work with a "Working 
Group" of relevant professionals and executives to implement 
the orders of the Deputies and Senior Commissions. 
Parliament would consult with and provide staff to the 
Working Group and Senior Commissions on an as-needed basis. 
NGOs and Foreign Advisors would also contribute to the 
inter-agency process, encourage transparency, and promote 
public discussion on national security issues.  CDM envisions 
that this proposal would result in an NSC that encourages and 
manages interagency cooperation and coordination, and in 
which comprehensive strategic national security assessments, 
policies, and strategies would be worked out and implemented. 
 
 
TBILISI 00002399  002 OF 002 
 
 
COMMENT 
 
6. (SBU) The Christian-Democratic proposal closely 
approximates the United States NSC system.  Given the 
challenges in interagency coordination faced by the GOG 
during the August conflict, a structure that would bring 
together those responsible for advising the President could 
help improve the country's ability to respond in a crisis. 
The CDM proposal appears
 to be a serious approach to address 
systemic and structural gaps in Georgia's national security 
capacity.  It is unclear how and whether the CDM will be able 
to move the bill through Saakashvili's United National 
Movement (UNM) majority in Parliament.  However, many 
government officials and parliamentarians, including the 
Parliamentary Investigatory Commission reviewing the August 
conflict, have noted the need for increased cooperation in 
security affairs. 
 
7.  (C) Over the years, the USG has supported work, most 
recently through the Rand Corporation, to develop an NSC 
system in Georgia and we've suggested to the Christian 
Democrats that they look at some of the previous work done on 
this subject.  Regardless of whether or not the legislation 
is adopted, the Christian Democrats are trying to come up 
with substantive policy suggestions and are participating in 
ongoing policy debates.  This is in stark contrast to some 
members of the opposition outside of parliament who continue 
to advocate for removing Saakashvili and hold new 
parliamentary elections. 
TEFFT

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