United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

USO Tour
Afghanistan, Iraq
July - August 2011

Top Stories

Mullen Speaks on Debt Deal, Progress

BAGHDAD, Aug. 2, 2011 – Because the growing national debt remains as the biggest threat to national security, the recent debate and resolution of the debt ceiling crisis are important steps, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today. “It is up to Congress how to figure out how to move ahead with regard to the debt,” Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said during a news conference. Story

Mullen Blasts Iran for Interference in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Aug. 2, 2011 – The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff today took Iran to task for interfering in Iraq to pursue “maleficent goals.” At a news conference here, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen blamed Iran for violence he said is meant to undermine Iraq’s progress. Story

Mullen Talks Change, Leadership With Troops in Mosul

MOSUL, Iraq, Aug. 1, 2011 – Navy Adm. Mike Mullen today got a taste of the ground truth that American service members live every day in this northern Iraqi city. It was more than 125 degrees outside when the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff spoke to about 400 service members at the Marez gym here. He thanked them for their service, and said America was “blessed” to have them. Story

Deadline Nears for Iraqi Request

MOSUL, Iraq, Aug. 1, 2011 – If Iraq wants American forces to remain to train and assist Iraqi security forces after Dec. 31, Iraqi leaders need to make the request soon, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said today. “The point is we’re at a deadline, and we need an answer,” Mullen said to reporters traveling with him. Story

Afghans Must Address Corruption

KABUL, Afghanistan, July 31, 2011 – The Afghan government must address corruption and criminal organizations subverting the will of the people, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said here today. Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, held a press conference at the headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force. Story

Mullen Pleased with Progress in Afghanistan

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, July 31, 2011 – The security aspect of operations in Afghanistan is going well, and now governance and development must catch up, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told reporters traveling with him that corruption is also a problem that good governance needs to address. Story

Afghans Will Be Ready to Shoulder Security

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, July 30, 2011 – The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is satisfied the U.S. drawdown in Afghanistan is being done in a responsible manner and that the Afghan national security forces will be able to shoulder the defense burden by 2014.Story

Budget Cuts Must be Balanced

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan, July 30, 2011 – As the pressure increases on the federal budget, the Defense Department must make cuts in a balanced way, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today. “There are three dials – the people dial, the operations dial and the acquisition or equipment dial,” Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said. Story

Budget Woes Top List of Concerns

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan, July 30, 2011 – Budget cuts -- not operational issues -- are the main concern of soldiers and Marines assigned here. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is holding troop talks throughout the country and is being peppered with questions about the U.S. debt crisis and the future of military benefits. Story

Coalition Maintains Momentum

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, July 29, 2011 – Despite the spikes of violence here coalition and Afghan security forces are keeping the initiative, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday. Mullen, who arrived here today to meet with coalition leaders, U.S. troops and their civilian counterparts, spoke to reporters traveling with him to Afghanistan. Story

Top Story

Mullen Stresses Lessons of Jointness

BAGHDAD, Aug. 2, 2011 – The men and women gathered in the apse of the Al-Faw Palace here spoke volumes of what the United States military has become. Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Defense Department civilians gathered to hear and to ask questions of America’s highest-ranking military officer. Their service together in the headquarters for U.S. Forces Iraq signified how far the joint force has come.

One young sailor asked Navy Adm. Mike Mullen how to capture the lessons learned about operating jointly, and the question clearly energized the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “Through the course of two wars, we have built an incredibly joint force in ways that many of us could not have imagined,” Mullen said. “I love each service to death – the ethos and culture that each service has. It’s a critical part of who we are as a military.” Story

Photo Essay

Mullen Visits Leaders, U.S. Troops in Afghanistan, Iraq

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