Secretary of Defense Mark Esper remarked that “what we want to do is increase the NATO activities' presence in Iraq, making sure that we're fully living up to the capacity available to us in NATO Mission Iraq. And then, of course, to the degree that NATO can – can offset the U.S. presence, that would over time allow us to bring some forces home”. Esper further noted that “I also want to see if NATO can help us, help our friends and partners in the Middle East with air defence, as an example. So the Saudis in particular are – need additional air defence assets to deter Iranian bad behaviour. They're not the only country, but that's an example where I'd like to see greater NATO participation, or at least our NATO partners participating”.
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