GEN Odierno speaks about the future of Iraq at the Institute for the Study of War

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(KATAKAMI / FACEBOOK) Recently while in Washington DC, I was able to participate in a discussion with Dr. Kim Kagan, of the Institute for the Study of War, and members of the media concerning the future of Iraq.

We have a relationship with the Government of Iraq that gives us an important opportunity to develop a democratic Iraq that enjoys a long term partnership with the United States. I believe it’s critical that we take advantage of this opportunity because it’s hard to know if we will ever have this kind of chance again. We all want success and victory in Iraq, but as I stated during this talk we may not know until three to five to 10 years from now if we’ve been successful. But I do believe we are moving in the right direction.

We have been through so much with our Iraqi partners and I think many things have gone better than expected. The implementation of the Security Agreement in early 2009 has been a success. We’ve turned over the responsibility for the entire security file to the Government of Iraq, we’ve reduced our forces in Iraq and the Iraqis have been able to sustain, and in fact continue to improve, security over 2009. Additionally, we’ve seen incredible development of the Iraqi government. It’s nowhere near as mature a government that we see in some other Western cultures for democracies, but they certainly have made tremendous strides.

I believe these kinds of open discussions with leading thinkers and media here in the US are necessary, and an important way to educate our fellow citizens about our progress and future in Iraq.

GEN Odierno greets GEN Jack Keane (ret.) member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for the Study of War prior to speaking about the future of Iraq. (Photo by SSgt Mark Deanda)
GEN Odierno sits with Dr. Kim Kagan, CEO of the Institute for the Study of War during a discussion about the future of Iraq. (Photo by SSgt Mark Deanda)
GEN Odierno answers a question from the media during a discussion concerning the future of Iraq at an event hosted by the Institute for the Study of War. (Photo by SSgt Mark Deanda)
Members of the media listen as GEN Odierno discusses the future of Iraq with Dr. Kim Kagan of the Institute for the Study of War. (Photo by SSgt Mark Deanda)
GEN Odierno answers a question from the media during a discussion concerning the future of Iraq at an event hosted by the Institute for the Study of War. (Photo by SSgt Mark Deanda)
(MS)

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