NATO ends its 7-year training mission in Iraq

AP News
Posted: Dec 17, 2011 2:30 PM
NATO ends its 7-year training mission in Iraq

NATO has ended its seven-year training mission in Iraq with a ceremony in Baghdad's Green Zone.

During Saturday's ceremony, senior Iraqi military commanders praised NATO's role in training Iraqi army and security forces since the program began in 2004.

NATO announced on Monday that it would permanently shut down the training mission and withdraw all of its soldiers by Dec. 31 because of the failure to agree on an extension with Iraqi leaders.

Those negotiations stalled over NATO's request for legal immunity for the foreign trainers _ an issue that earlier torpedoed plans to keep a residual U.S. military presence in the country.

NATO has about 130 advisers from 13 member nations and Ukraine in Iraq.