U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today said that the United States is continuing a training mission in Iraq during an interview with Candy Crowley of CNN’s State of the Union
“First, we are continuing a training mission in Iraq. That has been agreed to. We will have the same kind of training and support mission that we have with many other partner countries around the world. What we will not have are combat troops and bases.”
– Ms. Clinton
She stressed that it was really a decision put into motion back in the Bush Administration. She added that President Obama has demonstrated great leadership as he has made it possible for the American troops to leave, as was promised and by the end of this year. She highlighted that this entails leaving behind a training and support mission along with a very robust diplomatic presence also envisioned by the agreements reached back in the Bush Administration.
“The support and training mission is in addition to the usual marine contingent, the defense attache, and other normal relations between our diplomats and our Department of Defense representatives. This will be run out of an office of security cooperation. It will be comparable to what we’ve done in many countries where we handle military sales.”
– Ms. Clinton
She noted that the Iraqis are buying military equipment from the United States. She said the U.S. government will be working with them, as they work with Jordanians, Colombians, and others around the world.