Nato countries have agreed to start training Iraqi security forces next month, side-stepping a dispute between France and the US.
The Iraqi government is keen for Nato to make good on its promise
Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said a small advance team would head to Iraq as soon as possible.
A decision on the command arrangements will be postponed until the team reports back in September.
France objects to Washington's proposal that the training mission - which was agreed in June - come under US control.
"It's a distinct Nato mission," Mr de Hoop Scheffer told reporters on Friday.
But he said the US-led multinational force would give protection and "there should be a relationship between the training mission and multinational force in Iraq".
Washington has argued that the Nato mission should be linked to the multinational force.
France was initially opposed to a Nato presence in Iraq. It dropped those objections but remained against placing the mission under a US general.
Iraq's interim Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari has been urging the 26-member alliance to quickly carry out its pledge, made at a summit in Istanbul, to train security forces.
Mr Zebari said earlier this month that Iraqi authorities were "in a race against the clock" in their effort to bring stability to the country.