Odierno Raises Prospect of US Troops ‘Returning’ to Iraq

Insists US Will Consider Staying Past 2011

Though the Obama Administration’s claims that the war in Iraq is “over” is a myth to begin with, top US Commander in Iraq Gen. Ray Odierno today detailed the possibility of US forces “returning” to Iraq in larger numbers.

Odierno insists this would “only” happen if Iraq’s security forces suffer a complete failure in the ability to provide security in Iraq. And while Odierno insists “we don’t see that happening,” the reality on the ground makes this all the more plausible.

Locals are already getting fed up with the Iraqi Army’s inability to provide security, and that is with 52,000-plus US troops on the ground helping them out. July saw the worst death toll for Iraqi civilians in over two years, and attacks have continued apace in August.

Odierno added that he was certain the US would consider staying in Iraq beyond 2011 if asked by the Iraqi government. But clearly as the situation worsens on the ground the question of spinning the drawdown as the “end” of the war will transition more into the question of “reinvading” Iraq, an invasion which will no doubt depend largely on America’s ability to spare large numbers of additional troops as it continues to escalate the war in Afghanistan.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.