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07 January 2005

Defense Department Report, January 7: Iraq Operational Update

Retired Army General Luck dispatched to Iraq

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is sending retired Army General Gary E. Luck to Iraq to evaluate the U.S. military's Iraqi security policy, a Pentagon spokesman said January 7.

"[Luck's] mission is to go over there and take a look at Iraqi security force development -- where are we, how's it going, [and] provide an assessment to the commanders over there," Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said.  "He will have a very wide canvas to draw on," in making his assessment, he added.

Luck, a former commander of U.S. forces in South Korea and currently a senior adviser to the military's Joint Forces Command, and a team of evaluators will be examining the Iraq security situation from a variety of perspectives, Di Rita said.

The focus of the assessment will be on the most serious problems facing the military in Iraq such as how best to train Iraqi soldiers and security police officers so they can replace coalition forces now securing the country, Di Rita said.

"It's a continual assessment, and this will help provide some expertise that is not involved in day-to-day concerns," Di Rita said.  Luck and his team will have the ability to go into Iraq and take "a look that's a little more detached," he said.

Previously Luck was a senior adviser to Army General Tommy R. Franks, who was commander of U.S. Central Command, which directed military operations in Iraq, and commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps in the Persian Gulf War in 1991.  He worked with Franks at his headquarters in Qatar during the Iraq campaign in 2003.

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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