Odierno's Plan B For Iraq Looks Like It's Plan A Now

(AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
After alluding to the possibility that he may ask President Obama to keep combat troops in Iraq past August of this year, Gen. Raymond Odierno recently made the request official. Odierno asked for a brigade to stay in the northern Iraq city of Kirkuk, according to Foreign Policy Thursday.

Earlier this week, Odierno said the timeline for combat withdrawal could change if he sees problems with the formation of a new Iraqi government following elections next month. A series of pre-election shooting and car bombing attacks swept the country today, killing 22 people in all.

One of the big problems Mr. Obama faces is what to call the combat unit that remains behind after Aug. 31, 2010, which is the date George W. Bush negotiated for combat troop withdrawal. Some 50,000 troops — not combat forces — will remain behind to help train Iraqi security forces.

The U.S. has about 96,000 troops in Iraq nearly seven years after the American-led invasion that overthrew Saddam Hussein. That's the lowest number of American forces in the country since the invasion.

The remaining support troops are to be gone by the end of 2011.

For the full story on Gen. Ordierno's request, Click here.
  • David Riedel

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