Iraq Mission to Continue With Stability Operations

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2010 — With the last full brigade of com­bat troops now out of Iraq and anoth­er 6,000 U.S. forces to leave by the month’s end, the mis­sion in Iraq con­tin­ues with the tran­si­tion to sta­bil­i­ty oper­a­tions, Army Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lan­za, spokesman for U.S. Forces Iraq, told reporters today.

“Our mis­sion still con­tin­ues,” Lan­za said this morn­ing on the CBS “Ear­ly Show.” “We’re going to tran­si­tion from com­bat oper­a­tions to sta­bil­i­ty oper­a­tions, and we’re doing that as we’re draw­ing down our forces right now to 50,000 by 1 Sep­tem­ber.”

The final con­voy of com­bat troops, mem­bers of the 2nd Infantry Division’s 4th Stryk­er Brigade, crossed into Kuwait before dawn today.

“With that brigade that just left, we’re rough­ly a lit­tle under 56,000 [troops],” Lan­za said. That num­ber, he said, will steadi­ly decrease with­in the next 12 days to meet Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s man­date.

“And on 1 Sep­tem­ber, we’ll tran­si­tion to sta­bil­i­ty oper­a­tions as part of New Dawn,” Lan­za added.

The 50,000 U.S. troops to remain in Iraq will con­duct three dif­fer­ent mis­sions under Oper­a­tion New Dawn, Lan­za explained last night on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Mad­dow Show.”

“We’ll still con­tin­ue to part­ner to sup­port coun­tert­er­ror­ism oper­a­tions for the Iraqi secu­ri­ty forces,” he said. “We will con­tin­ue to sup­port provin­cial recon­struc­tion teams that work for the State Depart­ment with their job to build civ­il capac­i­ty and devel­op civ­il insti­tu­tions and still sup­port the Unit­ed Nations and non­govern­men­tal offi­cials.”

In addi­tion, U.S. forces will con­tin­ue to help the Iraqi secu­ri­ty forces build capa­bil­i­ty and capac­i­ty until the U.S. mis­sion in Iraq ends in Decem­ber 2011.

“We’ll con­tin­ue to train, coor­di­nate, advise and assist them in accor­dance with the secu­ri­ty agree­ment,” Lan­za said.

Lan­za expressed con­fi­dence in the Iraqi secu­ri­ty forces, now num­ber­ing more than 660,000, and point­ed to exam­ples of their suc­cess. “They have shown they can secure the coun­try for the elec­tions. They have shown they can secure the coun­try for major reli­gious hol­i­days,” he told CBS.

“More impor­tant­ly, they’ve shown that they have the will, the pro­fes­sion­al­ism and the ethos to con­tin­ue to improve,” he said. “So we’re very com­fort­able with the improve­ment they’re mak­ing, the capa­bil­i­ties they’re mak­ing and the type of force they’re turn­ing into.”

Lan­za told CBS he’s also impressed that Iraqi secu­ri­ty forces have remained apo­lit­i­cal while the Iraqi gov­ern­ment under­goes its tran­si­tion.

“They have stayed on their mis­sion,” he said. “They have still con­duct­ed oper­a­tions. And the pop­u­la­tion con­tin­ues to have trust and con­fi­dence in their abil­i­ty to pro­vide inter­nal secu­ri­ty in the coun­try.”

This grow­ing capa­bil­i­ty, he said, “has enabled us to con­duct our respon­si­ble draw­down.”

Lan­za expressed hope the Iraqi gov­ern­ment gets seat­ed soon, mit­i­gat­ing recent inci­dents of vio­lence.

“I would still say there are chal­lenges here. I will still say there is vio­lence that will con­tin­ue,” he told MSNBC. “The impor­tant thing right now, I think every­one knows, is to get the gov­ern­ment seat­ed as quick­ly as pos­si­ble.”

As Oper­a­tion Iraqi Free­dom winds down and Oper­a­tion New Dawn pre­pares to launch Sept. 1, Lan­za said the con­tin­u­ing U.S. mis­sion in Iraq is enabling Iraq to move for­ward.

“There’s a chance here for Iraq, in terms of where they are right now, to move for­ward, not only in this region, but also to help the peo­ple,” he said. “And I think what we’ve done here is we’ve giv­en them an oppor­tu­ni­ty to do that.”

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →