Top US Military Official Visits Quake-Hit Haiti
By Dialogo March 01, 2010The top military adviser to US President Barack Obama visited Haiti on Friday to evaluate the situation more than six weeks after a massive earthquake devastated much of the country. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, was expected to leave the country later in the day, said David Johnson, a US defense spokesman in Haiti. "It's a chance for him to come out and get his boots on the ground and visit with his troops," said Johnson, who could not give details on Mullen's schedule. "He'll also get a brief on ... where we are right now and maybe what it looks like down the road." It is Mullen's first visit to the Caribbean country since the quake. The United States has reduced its troop numbers in and off the coast of Haiti by about half from more than 20,000 just after the catastrophe. US officials have said they expect to further reduce numbers as aid operations gather pace. More than 200,000 people were killed in the January 12 earthquake, which also left some 1.2 million people homeless.