Lynn Arrives in Baghdad for Talks, Troop Visit

BAGHDAD, Oct. 26, 2010 — Deputy Defense Sec­re­tary William J. Lynn III arrived here today for meet­ings with Amer­i­can offi­cials.

The deputy sec­re­tary met pri­vate­ly with Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, com­man­der of U.S. Forces Iraq, and then received a brief­ing on the “advise and assist” mis­sion in the coun­try.

Some 50,000 Amer­i­can ser­vice­mem­bers are in Iraq, and almost all are involved in train­ing Iraqi secu­ri­ty forces. Iraqi forces have tak­en con­trol of secu­ri­ty in the coun­try. Amer­i­can forces are in an advi­so­ry capac­i­ty for almost all oper­a­tions.

U.S. air­men are work­ing with the Iraqis to devel­op the air force, and U.S. sailors are work­ing in south­ern Iraq to train a river­ine force and a coast guard to pro­tect the oil ter­mi­nals and sea­ward approach­es to the coun­try.

Iraqi politi­cians still have not formed a gov­ern­ment fol­low­ing elec­tions in March, but U.S. offi­cials here said this has not affect­ed the train­ing mis­sion. In fact, an offi­cial said, Iraqi mil­i­tary and police lead­ers are redou­bling their efforts to get the need­ed train­ing in advance of the Decem­ber 2011 Amer­i­can with­draw­al in accor­dance with an agree­ment between the two coun­tries.

Lynn will meet with the U.S. Ambas­sador to Iraq James F. Jef­frey and with an Amer­i­can advise and assist brigade.

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

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