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Multi-National Force-Iraq

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Multi-National Force-Iraq, according to the American Forces Press Service, is one of two new military commands that "will stand up in Iraq effective May 15, 2004, to replace the current coalition military organization" Combined Joint Task Force 7 (CJTF7). [1]

Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, former CJTF7 commander, recently announced to command the Force, will be replaced July 1, 2004, by Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., "the Army's second-ranking general," according to senior Pentagon officials on May 25, 2004. [2] [3]

On May 25, 2004, Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker at the New York Times write that the "change is [reported to be] part of an overhaul of the American command structure in Iraq that will put a higher-ranking officer in charge." Pentagon officials said that this "in no way reflected on General Sanchez's handling of the widening prisoner-abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib prison, outside of Baghdad, which was under his authority." [4]

The second command is Multi-National Corps-Iraq, which will be commanded by Army Lt. General Thomas F. Metz. [5]

Mission

"Multi-National Force-Iraq conducts offensive operations to defeat remaining non-compliant forces and neutralize destabilizing influences in Iraq in order to create a secure environment. Multi-National Force - Iraq organizes, trains, equips, mentors, and certifies credible and capable Iraqi security forces in order to transition responsibility for security from coalition forces to Iraqi forces. Concurrently, conducts stability operations to support the establishment of government, the restoration of essential services, and economic development in order to set the conditions for a transfer of sovereignty to designated follow-on authorities."


The May 17, 2004, issue of the Army Times reports that

"This new organization will fall under the responsibility of Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, chief of the U.S. Central Command and will work closely with the US Mission in Iraq -- the planned successor to the Coalition Provisional Authority -- on strategic issues and relations with Iraq," Army Lt. Gen. Walter L. Sharp, "director of strategic plans and policy on the Joint Staff, told the House International Relations Committee at a May 13, [2004,] hearing."
"The MNFI will oversee the corps-level tactical command that currently supervises daily operations of the multinational force supporting the U.S.-led reconstruction and combat missions in Iraq.
"Once Iraq resumes sovereignty, Iraqis will, Sharp said, 'be a full partner in the multinational force in its own security, together with the rest of the countries' of the multinational force."
"This new organization also will oversee another new entity, the Office of Security Transition-Iraq. This shop will be in charge of training and equipping all Iraqi security forces during the transition until 'the Iraqis can assume full responsibility for their own security at the earliest suitable time,' Sharp said."

Open For Bids For PR Contract

In late Ausgust 22006 the Washington Post reported that the U.S.-led military force in Iraq is asking for bids on a two-year, $20 million PR contract. The goal is "to effectively communicate Iraqi government and coalition's goals, and build support among our strategic audiences." The work includes monitoring "Iraqi, pan-Arabic, international and U.S. national and regional markets media in both Arabic and English," including U.S. TV, wire services and newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. News of "security, reconstruction activities, 'high profile' coalition force activities and events in which Iraqi security forces are 'in the lead'" will receive special attention. An anonymous PR practitioner told the Post that military commanders want news "to be received by audiences as it is transmitted ... they don't like how it turns out." [6] O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports that the contract is currently held by the Rendon Group, and "appears to mirror efforts initially handled by the Lincoln Group." [7] (Sub req'd)

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