New Iraq Commander Says War Could Last Years
Ray Odierno, the new 3-star in charge of American operations in Iraq, says winning the counterinsurgency will take more time.
The new American operational commander in Iraq said Sunday that even with the additional American troops likely to be deployed in Baghdad under President Bush’s new war strategy it might take another “two or three years” for American and Iraqi forces to gain the upper hand in the war.
The commander, Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, assumed day-to-day control of war operations last month in the first step of a makeover of the American military hierarchy here. In his first lengthy meeting with reporters, General Odierno, 52, struck a cautious note about American prospects, saying much will depend on whether commanders can show enough progress to stem eroding support in the United States for the war.
“I believe the American people, if they feel we are making progress, they will have the patience,” he said. But right now, he added, “I think the frustration is that they think we are not making progress.”
Well . . . yeah.