U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today stressed that Iraq has made tremendous strides in taking care of its own security during an interview with David Gregory of NBC’s Meet The Press.
During the interview, Ms. Clinton stressed Iraq is a very new democracy.
“President Obama has said from the beginning that combat troops would leave by the end of this year. That should not surprise anyone. But it’s equally important to remember that this deadline was set by the Bush Administration, so it’s been a bipartisan commitment, but it was on President Obama’s watch to show the leadership to be able to fulfill that commitment.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton highlighted that the U.S. government is now going to have a security relationship with Iraq for training and support of their military. She cited that they will have military trainers and support personnel on the ground at Embassy Baghdad. The U.S. government will be training Iraqis on using the military equipment that they are buying from the United States.
“And we think that this is the kind of mature relationship that is very common. So I believe that we are looking to fulfill what it is that the Iraqis requested and that we’re prepared to provide.” -Ms. Clinton
She stated that the Iraqis will all going to get along with each other for the foreseeable future. She highlighted that there will be continuing stresses and threats.
“We had a support-and-training mission in Colombia over many years when they were facing tremendous threats from insurgent groups. We know that the violence is not going to automatically end.” -Ms. Clinton
She noted that President Obama has shown great leadership in navigating to this point, fulfilling his promise, meeting the obligations that were entered into before he ever came into office.
“We are providing a support-and-training mission. We will be there on the ground, working with the Iraqis. And I just want to add, that no one should miscalculate America’s resolve and commitment to helping support the Iraqi democracy. We have paid too high a price to give the Iraqis this chance, and I hope that Iran and no one else miscalculates that.” -Ms. Clinton