Gen. Odierno to Troops: The ‘Time Is Right’ for New Mission, ‘Operation New Dawn’

Jun 3, 2010 1:27pm

As ABC News was first to tell you in February, the Obama administration is giving the war in Iraq — currently known as Operation Iraqi Freedom — a new name, "Operation New Dawn,” as US combat troops prepare to leave.

In a June 1 letter to “the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and Civilians of United States Forces-Iraq,” the commander in Iraq, Army Gen. Ray Odierno, writes that because of troops’ efforts in “improving security – through training, advising, enabling and partnering with the Iraq Security Forces,” the Iraqi people were able to conduct a credible and legitimate election in March, and Operation New Dawn will begin as planned on September 1.

Odierno writes that “we will end combat operations and establish a transition force of Advisory and Assistance Brigades” by Sept. 1. “The time is right; the Iraqi Security Forces are ready to assume full responsibility for their internal defense.”

Troops will remain, he says, to conduct counter-terrorism operations, provide combat enablers, train  and advise Iraqi Security Forces, support Provincial Reconstruction Teams, the UN and NGOs.

– Jake Tapper

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