The UK will expand its contribution to NATO Mission Iraq according to the Defence Secretary, following the Alliance’s decision to scale up the crucial mission at this week’s NATO Defence Ministerial.
According to a news release from the UK Government, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed to fellow Defence Ministers representing NATO’s 30 members that the UK will scale up its own commitment in line with the Alliance’s expansion of NATO Mission Iraq.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
“The UK is setting a course for the future of NATO by modernising our own Armed Forces to keep the country and its allies safe in a more threatening world, following the record settlement of more than £24bn. Our commitment to NATO is at the heart of this approach and I was pleased to discuss with allies our shared vision of deepened cooperation, refreshed operational concepts, and the use of cutting-edge technology to counter the threats of today and tomorrow.
First and foremost we are committed to delivering on NATO operations. The UK Government remains resolute in our support to the government of Afghanistan in the face of unacceptable Taliban violence. We are determined to ensure that conditions are met for achieving a lasting political settlement, which is the only means of ensuring security from terrorism for the people of Afghanistan, the United Kingdom and its Allies.”
Over the two-day virtual conference defence ministers from across the NATO Alliance agreed to expand the mission to Iraq on an incremental basis to bolster Iraq’s fight against the terrorist threat of Daesh.
“This will see the UK continue to support the NATO mission which provides professional military training to the Iraqi security forces and is being expanded to cover more Iraqi Government institutions. The UK will work with NATO over the coming weeks and months to confirm the size and nature of the UK’s contribution. Working alongside our international partners, UK personnel have trained over 120,000 Iraqi and Kurdish security forces as part of counter-Daesh efforts.”
The Ministry of Defence added:
“The UK is committed to supporting the government of Iraq in further developing its counter-terrorism capabilities, as the threat from Daesh continues to evolve.”