The Iraqi leaders spoke with pride…pride of the long history of the Iraqi Armed Forces (before Saddam Hussein), pride of service now, and pride of a military in support of legal civilian leaders. As well, they talked about sincere appreciation of all America and our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coast guardsmen and civilians have done to help them get Iraq on track to democracy and the rule of law. In all, it was a moving event and quite remarkable.
In related Iraq events…we recently held a Security Cooperation [DISAM] mobile training team course for 39 Iraqi students in Baghdad. As I’ve written on other occasions, experience and training are keys to success in our processes. Over the past two years, our Iraqi partners have dramatically improved their skill in FMS. A recent Iraqi Program Management Review proved this point.
Now, with Iraqi elections approaching and our transition accelerating, it is more important than ever to work to make this go smooth and effectively. I look forward to another ceremony and the hand off to the Iraqi’s in December 2011 to be as memorable as the 89th in D.C.