Mullen Credits U.S. Drawdown to Iraqi Forces’ Progress

CHICAGO, Aug. 25, 2010 — The U.S. mil­i­tary foot­print in Iraq is down to few­er than 50,000 ser­vice­mem­bers because Iraq’s secu­ri­ty forces are ready to pro­vide for their nation’s secu­ri­ty, the chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today.

“It was­n’t that long ago that there were 170,000 [U.S.] troops in Iraq,” Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told reporters. “What has dom­i­nat­ed is growth and con­fi­dence in Iraqi secu­ri­ty forces.” 

U.S. forces are con­fi­dent in their Iraqi coun­ter­parts, as the U.S. military’s com­bat mis­sion there ends and Oper­a­tion New Dawn begins Sept. 1, he said. Iraqi army and police are more than capa­ble of assum­ing secu­ri­ty respon­si­bil­i­ties in their coun­try, he added. 

“We’re very com­fort­able in Iraqi secu­ri­ty forces that can pro­vide for their secu­ri­ty,” Mullen said. “They’ve got some chal­lenges in their future, but they have led in oper­a­tions now for a sig­nif­i­cant peri­od of time, and we have con­fi­dence they’ll be able to meet the threat.” 

For the past 18 months, U.S. forces have been tran­si­tion­ing secu­ri­ty respon­si­bil­i­ties to Iraqi forces. The remain­ing U.S. troops will work in an “advise and assist” role in sup­port of Iraqi forces for the next 16 months. 

The U.S. troop reduc­tion does­n’t mean the U.S. military’s role in Iraq is over, the admi­ral said, not­ing that 50,000 “is a lot of troops.” 

“It’s not a small num­ber,” he added, “[and] it’s a lot of capa­bil­i­ty. It will con­tin­ue to have a sig­nif­i­cant impact.” 

Mullen said he’s con­fi­dent that the U.S. mis­sion in Iraq will end on sched­ule Dec. 31, 2011. 

“I don’t see the role chang­ing,” he said. “[U.S. forces] are clear­ly in sup­port of Iraqi secu­ri­ty forces. They’ve got a very close, inte­grat­ed rela­tion­ship with the Iraqi secu­ri­ty forces, [and the] sup­port role will continue.” 

Mullen is here as part of a three-day “Con­ver­sa­tion with the Nation” tour across the Mid­west. The trip is geared toward help­ing local com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers, busi­ness lead­ers and aca­d­e­mics hone mil­i­tary vet­er­ans’ skills and life experience. 

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

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

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

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →