Dempsey: Iraq 'on good path'

Aug. 22, 2012 at 9:52 AM

BAGHDAD, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Iraqi leaders told U.S. military commanders they were frustrated with military sales but a top general said the Iraqis overall are "on a good path."

U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met in Baghdad with key Iraqi leaders. Dempsey, the U.S. Defense Department reported, said both sides expressed concern about certain aspects of the foreign military sales program in Iraq.

U.S. forces are advising their Iraqi counterparts now that U.S. combat troops are out of the country. Baghdad pays the bulk of the $12.7 billion to equip national security forces, however.

Early this week, Dempsey said Iraq forces "may require yet additional development" more than eight months after U.S. forces left the country.

Nearly 100 people were killed in the country in the days leading up to end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Dempsey said that Iraq, nearly 10 years after U.S. military forces entered the country, was headed in the right direction.

"Are there still challenges, problems? Of course there are," he said. "But the Iraqis appear to be on a good path."

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