(WASHINGTON EXAMINER) -- ESPER PERSUADES NATO: Responding to pressure from the United States, NATO defense ministers have agreed “in principle” to take over more of the training and advising of Iraqi troops, so that the U.S. can begin to draw down its forces in Iraq.
The announcement followed a meeting at NATO headquarters in which U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper called on other nations to step up their efforts in Iraq, so the U.S. can realign its global forces to better counter Russia and China, which it sees as a bigger long-term threat than terrorism.
Advertisement - story continues below
“Several allies, or all allies, actually, supported the decision to do more and also to take over some of the activities which is today conducted by the US-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, speaking to reporters afterward. “The first step is to do more within the existing mandate, within the existing operational plan for our training mission in Iraq.”