Odierno Ready For New Post-Surge Mission

60 Minutes: Odierno Admits He Made Mistakes During His First Tour In Iraq

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And even the Shia slum of Sadr City seemed calm. Odierno went to see for himself on his third day as commander. Just four months ago, this was a no man's land, with Muqtada al-Sadr's Shiite militia in control. The idea of Americans walking around, even with protection (and the general had plenty of that), was impossible.

"The last time I was here, when I went to visit the police station, we were hit by RPGs and mortars," Odierno told Stahl. "I mean I was inside the police station. Everyone was okay. So to come back now and see the difference. The fact how much now we've brought life back to the city is very significant."

But it's still a war zone: troops patrol, and helicopters hover.

"If I wanted to come to this market myself, as an American, would I feel safe?" Stahl asked. "You got a lot of power. Look, this guy's got a big gun right behind."

"What I would say is the normal Iraqi citizen would feel safe coming here without a problem. The reason I hesitate about saying an American coming here is because there's still some terrorist groups who just target Americans," Odierno said.

Beyond the terrorists, the people we met expressed little gratitude for the Americans, and lots of resentment, like in the Sunni town of Mahmudiyah.

A group of men told Stahl they want the Americans to leave.

When she asked a shopkeeper if he likes the U.S. Army, he told Stahl with the help of a translator, "Yes and no. We like them because they help people. They have put a lot of efforts in here. And the reason why I don't like them because they do raids on houses."

General Odierno interrupted. "But is it much less now than it was before, the number of raids?"

"Yes, indeed. It's very, very less, sir," the shopkeeper said.

"But he doesn't forget," Stahl remarked.

"That's the point. That's the point," Odierno said.

The irony is it was Gen. Odierno himself who may have caused some of the resentment he is now charged with alleviating, when he commanded the 4th Infantry Division whose troops conducted raids into peoples' homes, and held large numbers of detainees, many of them innocent.

"You're targeted as the heavy-handed general. Back then, the charge was that your tactics helped fan the insurgency," Stahl pointed out.

"I think that that depiction is grossly exaggerated. But what I would say is first off, the area I was in was a very complex area. I was in the center of Saddam Hussein's Iraq. I was where he was from. But don't get me wrong. We made some mistakes," Odierno replied.

"Those mistakes?" Stahl asked.

"There's a fine line you have to determine when you have to be tough, when you're not. And so I think sometimes we were very accurate in what we did. But were there mistakes made when something weren't--Yes. Was our intelligence maybe not as good as we would've liked it to have been? Yes," he told Stahl.

Asked if these questions bothered him, Odierno told Stahl, "Well, I mean, sure. I mean, you know, nobody likes being criticized. And the thing about it is, I feel that I am somebody who learns very well. I'm about trying to be flexible, adaptable. And so the accusation that I might not be, bothers me."