Small Wars Journal

NATO Set for Iraq Troop Trainer-Swap to Mollify U.S. Demands

NATO Set for Iraq Troop Trainer-Swap to Mollify U.S. Demands by Lorne Cook – Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) - NATO countries are preparing to move more than 200 trainers working with the international force fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq to the military alliance’s own mission there helping to build up the Iraqi army in response to President Donald Trump's demand that U.S. allies do more in the Middle East, senior officials said Tuesday.

The move — essentially a “re-badging” exercise as troops shift from the anti-IS coalition to NATO control — will be high on the agenda Wednesday when NATO defense ministers meet in Brussels to weigh exact troop numbers.

“There are several areas where the training is really overlapping,” U.S. NATO envoy Kay Bailey Hutchison told reporters.

NATO agreed in 2018 to launch a training mission in Iraq involving around 500 troops with the aim of building up the country’s armed forces so they could better combat extremist groups. Only the anti-IS coalition fights extremists…

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