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U.S. troops are obligated to stop Iraqi security forces from committing inhumane acts, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters, Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace said that if U.S. servicemembers see inhumane treatment, it is their obligation to “to intervene, to stop it.”

Pace’s remarks come after U.S. troops found a prison run by Iraqis in which detainees allegedly had been tortured.

He said the U.S. commander who found the prison acted correctly by working with the Iraqi government, which is investigating the matter.

After making his comments, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld intervened to clarify Pace’s remarks.

“I don’t think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it; it’s to report it,” Rumsfeld said

“If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place they have an obligation to try to stop it,” Pace replied.

Pace did not elaborate on to what lengths U.S. troops should go to stop Iraqi security forces from engaging in inhumane treatment.

Also Tuesday, Rumsfeld said the United States has a responsibility to train Iraqi security forces and tell Iraqi officials that they lose support from the international community when they act in a way contrary to the world community’s values.


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