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US military chief touts `stunning` progress in Iraq

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 12:33

Baghdad: The US military`s top officer, Admiral Mike Mullen Wednesday said a planned drawdown of US troops in Iraq was on track, citing "stunning" progress in security
over the past three years.

Before arriving in Baghdad, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff told reporters on his plane that Iraq`s military and police had proven themselves over the past year.

Based on briefings from US commanders, Mullen said the Iraqi forces "are ready" to take full responsibility for security in the country as American forces are scaled back to
a 50,000-strong mission.
He said the Iraqi troops are "performing in the lead exceptionally well."

"I`ve seen their response in various situations where violent attacks have occurred. And their response has really been good."
He recalled grim days during the peak of sectarian violence three years ago, "when there was great despair about where all this was going."

Mullen said the progress since 2007 represented "truly a stunning achievement."


First Published: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 12:33

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