BAGHDAD - Iraqi, United States Forces - Iraq and NATO Training Mission - Iraq senior military leaders held their first Iraqi Military Doctrine Conference here Aug. 3.

The main goals of those attending the conference were to develop a formal hierarchy of doctrine for the Iraqi armed forces, plan objectives for the next 18 months and to identify the principles for Iraqi armed forces commands and training institutions to implement.

"Through good leadership and motivation we have encouraged a strong warrior ethos and a better understanding of the law of armed conflict and human rights. The moral component provides the motivation for our people to fight," said Iraqi Army Gen. Babakir Badir-Khan, Chief of Staff for the Iraqi armed forces. "[Doctrine] binds the moral and physical components by providing ideas on how to fight. Military doctrine is simply codification of best practices."

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Barbero, USF-I Deputy Commanding General for Advising and Training, agreed that the Iraqi armed forces have made significant improvements and emphasized that developing a sound military doctrine will solidify Iraq's place among other militaries in the region. A,A!A,A!

"This event will also signal to Iraq's regional neighbors that it is taking another positive step toward a self-sustaining military capability to defend its sovereignty in the face of external aggression," said Barbero. "As we approach 2011, and the focus for the armed forces switches from internal security to external defense, it is necessary to review these conventional capabilities and determine how to employ them in the event of external aggression."

Barbero said DCG A&T is committed to helping the Iraqis with this monumental task. "Doctrine is a key part of building military capability and because of this we have allocated resources, people and money from United States Forces-Iraq and the NATO Training Mission-Iraq to support this task," he said.

Ultimately, through the joint effort between the Iraqi and international communities, the Iraqi armed forces aim to develop a doctrine that will endure beyond 2011.