Iraqi and US officials are planning for the next five years of security in that country, confident in the progress made against ISIS, the top uniformed officer said during a visit to Baghdad. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a troop talk Nov. 9 that Iraqi military leaders want to work with the US for a plan of operations over the long term. “Last year we were talking about the next five days with uncertainty,” Dunford said according to a Defense Department release on the visit. “Now they are confident enough to talk about what they will do when ISIL is defeated to make sure they have security here in Iraq that is worth the sacrifice that Marines, soldiers, airmen, sailors have made over the years.” Iraqi forces are in a tough fight to reclaim the city of Mosul, though officials are confident in that momentum. Dunford said the US-led coalition has the “most solemn of responsibilities” to “close the deal and make it matter” in the ISIS fight. (See also: After Mosul)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.