Gen. Ray Odierno

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Army to Cut 80K Troops in Biggest Post-WWII Shake-Up

13 out of 45 combat brigades to be axed

(Newser) - The Army is axing 13 of its 45 combat brigades in what it says is just the first round of downsizing under automatic budget cuts. Some 80,000 troops out of a total force of 570,000 will be cut over the next four years, and while the Army aims... More »

Military Drops Iraq Pregnancy Ban

Threat of court-martial 'defied comprehension,' critics charged

(Newser) - The US military's Christmas gift to soldiers serving in Iraq: an end to the harsh policy that threatens court-martial and jail time for getting pregnant—or getting someone else pregnant. Gen. Ray Odierno, the top US commander in the country, is revamping regulations, and the new orders, in effect Jan.... More »

US Speeds Up Iraq Withdrawal

(Newser) - The United States is speeding up its military withdrawal from Iraq, sending 4,000 more troops home next month, top commander Ray Odierno will announce today. That'll bring the total number of troops in the country down to 120,000 by the end of October. "We have already begun... More »

Kurd-Arab Conflict Now Biggest Threat to Iraq

(Newser) - Tension between Arabs and Kurds, rather than the usual friction between Sunnis and Shia, has become the greatest threat to Iraqi security, says the top US general in the country. The oil-rich Kurdish region has become "the No. 1 driver of instability," Ray Odierno told reporters yesterday, and... More »

Axelrod Won't Rule Out Second Stimulus

Grassley says GOP 'won't be hoodwinked' on health care reform

(Newser) - With unemployment rates still rising, the White House isn’t ruling out the possibility of a second stimulus package, The Hill reports. On This Week, David Axelrod refused to “prejudge” the issue. But on Face the Nation, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour countered, “The real long-term effect is very... More »

Colbert Gets Buzz Cut in Baghdad

(Newser) - When Stephen Colbert announced he was doing four shows in front of the troops in Baghdad, many wondered if he’d tone down his ironic bluster. Wonder no more. Colbert swaggered on stage for the taping in a camouflage business suit yesterday, and declared himself the only one man enough... More »

Surge Worked in Iraq, But Beware Afghanistan

(Newser) - A new book on the surge in Iraq could offer lessons to the Obama administration about Afghanistan, Dexter Filkins writes in the New Republic. Thomas E. Ricks’ The Gamble details the success of a small band of contrarian US generals, led by David Petraeus, in turning around the war. But... More »

US Troops Will Exit Iraq by 2011: Odierno

Coburn praises Obama; Mexican envoy sounds off at NRA

(Newser) - The top US commander in Iraq said American combat troops may overstay a June 30 deadline calling for their withdrawal from some Iraqi cities, but will likely exit the country entirely as scheduled by 2011. “I think I feel comfortable with that timeline,” said Gen. Ray Odierno, who... More »

General: Al-Qaeda Threatens Iraq Withdrawal Deadline

Troops may stay in Mosul, Baqubah beyond June 30

(Newser) - The US may have to ignore the June 30 deadline for US troops to pull out of Iraqi cities if al-Qaeda is to be defeated, America's top commander in Iraq tells the Times of London. Gen. Ray Odierno believes the military can stick to most of the withdrawal timetable, but... More »

US Troop Deaths at New Low

Fewest troops killed since Iraq war began

(Newser) - The US military lost 467 service members in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008, the lowest annual death toll since the Iraq war began in 2003, reports USA Today. But the coming year could be more challenging. Up to 30,000 extra troops are being sent to Afghanistan and upcoming elections... More »

US Troops to Stay in Iraqi Cities Past Deadline

Odierno says troops to stay past June, remain in 'close partnership' with Iraqis

(Newser) - Not all American troops will be leaving Iraqi cities in June, despite a new security agreement with the Iraqi government requiring them to do so, Gen. Ray Odierno said today. A number of troops still to be negotiated with the Iraqi government will remain in city security posts to support... More »

Petraeus' Successor Has Mixed Record

Ray Odierno takes over today as Army's top dog in Iraq

(Newser) - Gen. Ray Odierno, who today became the top US commander in Iraq, was instrumental in last year’s troop surge that helped stabilize the country. But though most notably known for mirroring predecessor David Petraeus' focus on protecting Iraqi citizens, some in the military have slammed his methods early in... More »

Petraeus Hands Over Command of Iraq

Praises successor Odierno as 'perfect man for the job'

(Newser) - Citing a "long struggle" in Iraq despite his successes, Gen. David Petraeus handed over his command of the country, reports the BBC, amid a smattering of violence that served as a reminder of reversible gains. Defense Secretary Robert Gates praised security gains made on Petraeus' watch as authority was... More »

Petraeus Hands Off Iraq Reins Next Week

Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno to take commander's place

(Newser) - Gen. David Petraeus will step down as the top US commander in Iraq on Sept. 16, handing the reins to Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the No. 2 commander there until recently, Reuters reports. Petraeus, who led the troop surge that ushered in a major decline in Iraq violence, will become... More »

Senate Confirms Iraq Generals in New Jobs

Petraeus now Middle East chief; Odierno takes over in Baghdad

(Newser) - The Senate today confirmed Gen. David Petraeus as the top commander in the Middle East and Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno to replace Petraeus as the chief military officer in Iraq. Last year, Petraeus helped to tame growing opposition to the Iraq war in Congress by providing measured assessments of progress... More »

Petraeus to Head Centcom

Predecessor had been at odds with Bush; Odierno will take over in Iraq

(Newser) - Gen. David Petraeus was tapped today to be the next commander of US Central Command, in charge of military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. If confirmed, Petraeus would replace Adm. William Fallon, who stepped down over disagreements with President Bush over Iran policy, the AP reports. "I don't know... More »

Iran Is Biggest Threat to Iraq: General

Points as proof to problem-free visit of Iranian prez

(Newser) - Iran is likely the single greatest threat to Iraq's longterm stability, according to a top US commander. The US has "pretty clear" evidence that Iran is training and supplying Shiite militias, said Lt. General Raymond Odierno, who just completed 15 months as second-in-command in Iraq.  Odierno pointed to... More »

General's Iraqi Shift Mirrors US Strategy

Outgoing No. 2 evolved from aggressive tactics to nonlethal ones

(Newser) - Gen Raymond Odierno stepped down from his post as the No. 2 general in Iraq this week, having evolved from a proponent of heavy-handed tactics to a believer in nonlethal methods to win favor with Iraqis and reduce violence, the Washington Post reports. In a lengthy profile of the so-called... More »

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