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Maj. Gen. John F. Kelly, commanding general, Multi National Forces-West, speaks with members of the Brookings Institution, Harvard University and high ranking officials in the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police during a meeting at Camp Habbaniyah May 31. The meeting was scheduled to give these "thinkers" a chance to speak to Iraqi officials in-person to assess the eventual transition of authority from the Coalition Forces to the Iraqi Security Forces in the Al Anbar province of Iraq.

Photo by Pfc. Jerry Murphy

MNF-W commander visits US advisors, Iraqi officials

2 Jun 2008 | Pfc. Jerry Murphy

Maj. Gen. John F. Kelly, commanding general, Multi National Force-West, met with members of Multi National Force-Iraq Commander, Gen. David H. Petraeus’ staff and high ranking officials of the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police here, May 31.

The meeting was arranged to assess the possibility of security transitions from Coalition forces to Iraqi Security Forces in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq.

“This was an opportunity for members of the Brookings Institution and professors from Harvard University to meet with very prominent (Iraqi) security leaders in the Anbar Province,” said 1st Lt. Bering Tsang, intelligence advisor with 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1. “These are the guys who think-up ideas to present to the Senate and House of Representatives. They came here to get a hands-on prospective to local political and transitional progress made in the Anbar province.”

Talking about eventual transition of security, Maj. Gen. Kelly said: “There is good news and bad new with this. The good news is that the best members of the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police are located in the Al Anbar province. The bad news is that the best members of the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police are located in Anbar and when there is trouble elsewhere, they immediately take the best."

Midway through the meeting, a working-lunch was provided by members of 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines, while the members of the assembly spoke of fighting the War on Terrorism not just for Iraq, but world-wide.

“The Coalition forces, as well as the (ISF), are fighting this fight against terrorism not only for Iraq, but for the rest of the world,” said Iraqi Brig. Gen. Nour al Din, chief intelligence official in Al Anbar. “Terrorism is all over and by confronting it here, we are seriously damaging its resources.”

With the process proceeding rapidly, the Iraqi Officials agreed that the Coalition forces have helped them in every way possible.

“Anything that we have needed, the Coalition forces have provided,” said Iraqi Maj. Gen. Kadhim Farris, a staff general officer with the Iraqi Army. “They have provided a great sense of support, advice and moral senses.”