Iraqi security up to the task, US forces spokesman says

WASHINGTON (AP) " The spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq says Iraqi police and military are up to the task of keeping the country secure after US combat troops complete their withdrawal next week, but he adds that the sooner the government is seated the calmer the country will be.

Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza told CBS' "The Early Show" that Iraqi security forces have shown professionalism and the will to improve and have made strong progress since 2003.

The mission of the 50,000 noncombat US troops that will remain in Iraq after next week's deadline will be to continue to train Iraqi security forces as part of Operation New Dawn.

Lanza said that fewer than 6,000 combat troops remain in Iraq as the drawdown continues toward the Sept. 1 withdrawal deadline.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.