Mullen Arrives in Baghdad for Consultations, Troop Visits
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
BAGHDAD, Dec. 13, 2010 The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff arrived here today to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and senior American civilian and military officials.
Because weather closed in on Baghdad International Airport, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen had to travel to his meeting with Maliki on a road that once was too dangerous for transit.
Maliki is forming an Iraqi government after almost eight months of political maneuvering. The deadline for the formation of the government is Dec. 25. American officials have stressed their desire that the government be broadly based.
The chairman also will visit with American troops involved in the advise-and-assist effort in Iraq. Almost 50,000 U.S. servicemembers are training the Iraqi military and police as part of Operation New Dawn. The Iraqi security forces are in the lead for security in the nation.
Mullen brought a USO troupe with him. Robin Williams, Lewis Black, Lance Armstrong, Kix Brooks, Kathleen Madigan and Bob Dipiero are visiting troops in and around Baghdad today.