ARLINGTON, Va. — Citing Camp Casey in South Korea, the U.S. military’s top officer praised American troops stationed across the globe on Friday after a worldwide trip visiting U.S. servicemembers.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard B. Myers said he visited more than 15,000 troops during his recent trip that spanned more than 25,000 miles.

Myers said U.S. troops in South Korea provide stability in the region by being prepared to fight at an instant.

Turning to Iraq, Myers said the stakes are huge as U.S. troops continue to combat an insurgency.

If the terrorists were able to establish a caliphate in Iraq, “It would be instant instability,” Myers said.

Myers disputed published reports that the United States would begin removing troops from Iraq next year, saying a U.S. withdrawal would only begin once Iraqi security forces can take greater responsibility for keeping peace.

“Our troops want overwhelming reassurance that they will be able to complete what they began four years ago,” he said.

Morale in the U.S. military is very high, Myers said.

While in Iraq, one female servicemember came up to him and thanked him for the opportunity to serve, he said.

At another stop on his trip, Myers ran into a retired National Guardsmen who re-joined his unit when he learned it would be deployed, Myers said.

U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan understand what needs to be done, he said.

“This military can do anything as long as they have the will and resolve of the American people,” he said.

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