McKenzie's visit comes amid heightened anti-American sentiment that has fueled violent protests, rocket attacks on the embassy and a vote by the Iraqi parliament pushing for withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country. And it raises questions about whether the appearance of a high-profile U.S. military commander could spur compromise, or simply inflame tensions and scuttle ongoing negotiations to put Patriot missile batteries in Iraq to better protect coalition forces.
McKenzie acknowledged that due to the current strain in relations, joint military operations and training between the U.S. and the Iraqis have been scaled back. He said that U.S. Special Operations Force are doing missions with Iraqi commandos, emphasizing that ＇we're still in a period of turbulence. We've got a ways to go.＇
A tactical and administrative artillery unit.
An elite special operations unit.
A commando often specializes in amphibious landings, parachuting or abseiling.