Odierno: ‘I Believe We’re on Track’ to Withdraw Troops After Iraq Election


In an interview airing on Tuesday’s NewsHour, Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, told Jim Lehrer that he was pleased with how Iraqi forces handled security surrounding the recent national elections, saying that the violence was mostly low level despite a wave of attacks that killed dozens of people.

He said that the timeline for U.S. troop levels to drop to 50,000 appears to be on target for Sept. 1, barring any catastrophes. Watch an excerpt of their conversation here:

On a different topic, Odierno also told Lehrer that he has seen the much-talked about film “The Hurt Locker,” the story of a U.S. military bomb squad in Iraq that won the best picture Oscar on Sunday, and that the film was a good representation of the camaraderie, risk and tension that troops face in Iraq, despite some concerns that the film isn’t an accurate enough depiction.

Watch the full interview on Tuesday’s PBS NewsHour.