Mullen Arrives in Baghdad for Consultations, Troop Visits

BAGHDAD, Dec. 13, 2010 — The chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff arrived here today to meet with Iraqi Prime Min­is­ter Nouri al-Mali­ki and senior Amer­i­can civil­ian and mil­i­tary offi­cials.

Because weath­er closed in on Bagh­dad Inter­na­tion­al Air­port, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen had to trav­el to his meet­ing with Mali­ki on a road that once was too dan­ger­ous for transit. 

Mali­ki is form­ing an Iraqi gov­ern­ment after almost eight months of polit­i­cal maneu­ver­ing. The dead­line for the for­ma­tion of the gov­ern­ment is Dec. 25. Amer­i­can offi­cials have stressed their desire that the gov­ern­ment be broad­ly based. 

The chair­man also will vis­it with Amer­i­can troops involved in the advise-and-assist effort in Iraq. Almost 50,000 U.S. ser­vice­mem­bers are train­ing the Iraqi mil­i­tary and police as part of Oper­a­tion New Dawn. The Iraqi secu­ri­ty forces are in the lead for secu­ri­ty in the nation. 

Mullen brought a USO troupe with him. Robin Williams, Lewis Black, Lance Arm­strong, Kix Brooks, Kath­leen Madi­gan and Bob Dip­iero are vis­it­ing troops in and around Bagh­dad today. 

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

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