Tags: Iraq | ISIS/Islamic State | Gernal Raymond Odierno | retiring | embed | U.S. | troops

Retiring Gen. Odierno: Consider Embedding US Soldiers Against ISIS

Image: Retiring Gen. Odierno: Consider Embedding US Soldiers Against ISIS
Retiring Army chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 08:20 PM

The White House should consider sending American soldiers to march alongside Iraqi security units to help them gain momentum in the fight against Islamic State (ISIS) forces, the Army's top general says.

Gen. Raymond Odierno, the Army’s retiring chief of staff, said U.S. troops wouldn't have to be involved in fighting, but rather would serve as direct advisors as Iraqi units move onto the battlefield, Stars and Stripes reports.

"If we find in the next several months we’re not making the progress that we have, we should probably absolutely consider embedding some soldiers and see if that will make a difference," Odierno said Wednesday at his final news conference, Stars and Stripes reports.

"It’s an option we should present to the president when the time is right."

Odierno will be succeeded by Gen. Mark Milley on Friday, Stars and Stripes reports.

More than 2,900 U.S. soldiers serve as part of a multinational coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but don't operate on the battlefield. Instead, the operation relies on the U.S.-trained ISF, Kurdish fighters and moderate Syrian rebels fighting on the ground, supported by U.S. airstrikes.

The Pentagon announced Wednesday that the United States has begun conducting manned airstrikes from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, against ISIS, Stars and Stripes reports.

And though Odierno says the fight against ISIS is "kind of a stalemate," he thinks the militant forces have "been blunted somewhat," Stars and Stripes reports.

"They've not made any progress since we started airstrikes," he maintained, Stars and Stripes reports.

He added that the long-term answer to issues plaguing Iraq and Afghanistan have to be addressed "by those in the region."

"It’s important for us to support that," he said, Stars and Stripes reports. "It’s important for us to support that by training and trying to develop their capabilities and capacity.… The U.S. cannot solve this problem for the region."

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The White House should consider sending American soldiers to march alongside Iraqi security units to help them gain momentum in the fight against Islamic State (ISIS) forces, the Army's top general says. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the Army's retiring chief of staff, said U.S....
Gernal Raymond Odierno, retiring, embed, U.S., troops, battlefield.
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Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 08:20 PM
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