Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Odierno: 'We need forces here for a few more years'

Above: Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division react after being fired on in Al Haymer in July.

The day-to-day commander of the U.S. military in Iraq said Tuesday that American forces will be needed in the country for a few more years in order to stave off chaos.

"We think that based on the campaign plan that we need forces here for a few more years," Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno said during a tour of a U.S. Army base in Babil province south of the capital.

"We need to have forces here in a deliberate fashion in order to accomplish what our goals are, which are a stable Iraq able to operate in a regional construct that will not provide a safe haven for terror and we will move forward with a government that cares for the people of Iraq," he said.

Odierno's comments were the latest and bluntest in a series of statements from U.S. military and embassy officials that aim to convince the Congress to support the continuing Iraq war. He stressed that troop numbers will most likely be reduced over time.

Read the rest at the San Francisco Chronicle