U.S., Iraq Sign Defense Cooperation Memo of Understanding
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2012 American and Iraqi officials signed a memorandum of understanding today in Baghdad that will make it easier for the two countries to work together.
Iraqi Defense Minister Saadoun Al-Dlimi, foreground, and U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy James Miller and U.S. Acting Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller, background, discuss a memorandum of understanding they signed to make it easier for the two countries to work together, Dec. 5, 2012, Baghdad. U.S. Navy photo by Cdr. Gary Ross
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The memo was one result of the Defense and Security Joint Coordination Committee that met yesterday and today in the Iraqi capital.
Undersecretary of Defense for Policy James N. Miller, acting Iraqi Defense Minister Saadoun al-Dlimi and acting Undersecretary of State for International Security Rose Gottemoeller participated in the meeting.
The committee discussed efforts to strengthen security cooperation between the two nations, officials said. This includes enhancing Iraq’s security capabilities and modernizing Iraqi forces. Officials looked at the U.S. foreign military sales program. Iraq is buying F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft and M-1 Abrams tanks from the United States, among other programs. These procurements include spare parts, training, maintenance help and other considerations.
The officials also discussed regional issues and the ongoing conflict in neighboring Syria, defense officials said.
The memorandum of understanding -- signed by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Dlimi -- covers the range of U.S.-Iraqi defense cooperation and covers the next five years. This includes high-level military-to-military visits, professional military education cooperation, counterterrorism cooperation and the development of defense intelligence capabilities.
The two nations committed to joint exercises including exchanges of information dealing with humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, officials said.