With Iraqi Security Forces taking the lead in accordance with the Security Agreement and the June 30 withdrawal from cities, mission accomplishment is in sight for U.S. forces here in Iraq, said the Multi-National Corps-Iraq commanding general.
"We are not going to falter, we are going to complete this task, we believe that it is close at hand and we believe in our Iraqi partners," Lt. General Charles Jacoby Jr. said. "We are going to continue our best efforts to finish this with success and honor."
U.S. forces have made many sacrifices to bring freedom, democracy and stability to Iraq. Success will be measured by the quality of the relationship between the U.S. and Iraq, he stressed.
"In the end those sacrifices will be validated, both for the Iraqi people and the American people, by an enduring strategic partnership that builds on our mutual trust, confidence, and strategic interest."
The commanding general said the ISF continue to be tested by a greatly diminished network of insurgents and terrorists committed to the failure of the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Iraq.
"Make no mistake, Iraqi is still a dangerous place, as the events of Aug. 19 and the indirect-fire attacks of mid-September point out, we have some committed enemies," Jacoby said.
U.S. forces continue to play a role inside the cities assisting and enabling the ISF. Troops are supporting provincial reconstruction teams and assisting in operations with medevacs and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.
Outside the cities, U.S. forces are still conducting combat operations while partnered with the ISF.
"There are hundreds and hundreds of convoys and combined operations taking place everyday outside the bases and so I think it's very important for the people and the Army to understand that this force has a viable and important mission entering into one of the most decisive points in the entire campaign," Jacoby said, referring to the upcoming elections.
As U.S. forces transition into stability operations and the partnership between ISF and the U.S. continues to grow, the cornerstone of MNC-I's mindset is Iraqi sovereignty.
"I think that American Soldiers have demonstrated the ability to make that mindset shift everywhere in the world that we have great strategic partnerships; Korea, Germany," Jacoby said.
"All over every hemisphere we have relationships with armies based on mutual confidence, trust and respect for their sovereignty."