|Last update: 23-Sep-2004 10:27
Enhancement of NATO Assistance to Iraq
On 22 September, Allies agreed to further implement the decision by Heads of State and Government to assist the government of Iraq with the training of its security forces. Allies agreed political guidance to the NATO Military Authorities on the enhancement of this assistance.
NATO support to Iraq security institutions is oriented to helping Iraq build the capability of its Government to address the security needs of the Iraqi people.
The NATO effort will focus on training, and assisting with equipping, and technical assistance.
NATO will continue to train and mentor Iraqi Joint Headquarters personnel, and expand this assistance as necessary.
The Alliance and nations will also identify Iraqi personnel for out of country training and co-ordinate training and equipment offers.
A NATO-supported Iraqi Training, Education and Doctrine Centre will be established. It will focus on leadership training for Iraqi Security Forces, helping to build nation-wide, multi-ethnic security institutions.
The Alliance effort will be under close and continuous NATO political guidance.
This will be a distinct mission, but it will work closely with the Multinational Force (MNF). Maj. Gen. Petraeus, Commander of the MNF training effort, will be “dual-hatted” as the commander of the NATO effort as well. On NATO issues, he will report up the NATO chain of command to Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and, ultimately, the North Atlantic Council.
The aims of this mission are training, equipping and technical assistance – not combat. That being said, robust force protection is of the utmost importance. The MNF should provide a secure environment for the protection of NATO forces in Iraq. The NATO chain of command will have responsibility for close area force protection for all NATO personnel deployed to Iraq or the region.
Financing issues remain to be worked out, but they will follow established rules and procedures, including those for common funding.
Following this decision, the military authorities will draft a Concept of Operations and Rules of Engagement for the mission, which will be approved by the North Atlantic Council.
All NATO nations and the Secretary General understand the urgency of this mission. The Alliance is moving as fast as possible to provide this enhanced assistance.