The Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the Chair of the NATO Military Committee visit NATO Mission Iraq
On 20-21 March 2023, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer, and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Christopher G. Cavoli, visited NATO Mission Iraq (NMI). During their visit they reviewed the mission’s activities and met with a range of Iraqi officials and representatives of the international community.
“I am grateful for the reaffirmed support from the Iraqi government and the outstanding efforts of the NMI personnel. Together, through our strong partnership and our advisory and capacity building mission, we will increase the effectiveness of Iraq’s security institutions and prevent the return of Daesh,” General Cavoli said. Admiral Bauer said: “I want to commend Lieutenant General Iannucci for his strong leadership and his close cooperation with the Iraqi government. Witnessing first-hand the assistance delivered by our non-combat advisory and capability building mission is encouraging. The vast knowledge and skills of the international experts, both civilian and military, from NATO Allies and partners, truly allows for a wide range of advice and support to be provided to the Iraqi security institutions and forces.”
Lieutenant General Iannucci, Commander of NMI, said: “I praise the level of cooperation and commitment towards reform of the Iraqi government. NATO Mission Iraq has been working closely with its counterparts. The long-term objectives, which we agreed upon with the Minister of Defence set the framework of our partnership and have already led to substantial results in several domains, including through the establishment of Cyber Security and NATO Codification Bureau. We stand ready to provide further support. We appreciated the advice and guidance provided by the Chair of NATO’s Military Committee and SACEUR, and we look forward to making further improvements under their direction. We are united in our determination to serve to build a safe and secure Iraq together.”
During their visit, Admiral Bauer and General Cavoli met with several Iraqi officials, including the Minister of Defence, Thabet Muhammad Al-Abbasi, the Chief of Defence, Staff General Abdul Amir Rashid Yarallah, and the National Security Advisor, Qassim Mohammad al-Araji. They exchanged views on the level of cooperation developed between NATO and Iraq, the contributions provided by the NATO-led mission and the security situation in the region. They also met with the Commander of NATO Mission Iraq, Lieutenant General Giovanni M. Iannucci, the Commander of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, Major General Matthew W. McFarlane, officials from the US Embassy, and representatives from the international community.
NATO Mission Iraq is a non-combat advisory and capacity-building mission that assists Iraq in building more sustainable, transparent, inclusive and effective security institutions and forces, so that they themselves are able to stabilize their country, fight terrorism, and prevent the return of Daesh. To achieve this, NATO advises relevant Iraqi defence and security officials in the Ministry of Defence, Office of the National Security Advisor, and Prime Minister’s National Operations Centre. The mission also advises Iraq’s professional military education institutions in the greater Baghdad area. Iraqi authorities have identified a number of primary objectives for cooperation with NMI. These include security education, logistics, cyber defence, and good governance.