U.S. general prepped for Iraq command

Nov. 20, 2006 at 11:40 AM
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FORT HOOD, Texas, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. general returning to Iraq to assume combat control next month says his definition of victory involves Iraqi civilian control.

In an interview with The New York Times, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno outlined his goals for his second tour as ground commander, which he said had evolved with time and experience.

He said he would consider his tour a victory if civil authority in Baghdad were fully restored, sectarian violence reduced and a diminishment of armed militias.

"I think what we need is an Iraqi government that is legitimate in the eyes of the Iraqi population, an Iraq that is able to protect itself and not be a safe haven for terror. That's what I think winning is," Odierno told the newspaper.

He will replace Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the author of a controversial essay warning the military cannot just focus on combat but also work to provide essential city services, create jobs and promote local governmental control.

Odierno said he tends to agree.

"The longer we stay in Iraq, the less of a military fight it becomes," he said. "We have to understand that."

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