Odierno, Responding to TWI, Pledges Support For The SOFA
This morning I got an email from a spokesman for Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, objecting to my characterization of him in my Clinton-confirmation-preview story as “appearing to indicate that he considers the agreement an obstacle to work around instead of the new rules of the road for the U.S. mission in Iraq.” Here’s what U.S. Army Col. James Hutton wrote me:
Gen. Odierno has steadfastly stated that all of our planning and execution will adhere to the terms of the Security Agreement. He has in fact never stated or implied otherwise. We are absolutely committed to the Agreement and are devoting considerable energy into its implementation. We are fully engaged with the Government of Iraq in this process. No one should doubt our resolve to implement the Agreement.
Your statement “…with Odierno appearing to indicate that he considers the agreement an obstacle to work around instead of the new rules of the road for the U.S. mission in Iraq,” is just plain wrong and is not supported by the facts.
I’d urge readers to click through to my source material to see why I wrote that Odierno has appeared less than enthusiastic about the SOFA — with, of course, the caveat that I haven’t been back to Iraq in eighteen months and have never gotten the chance to interview Odierno despite several attempts. In any case, it’s reassuring to see Odierno’s staff issuing clear-cut, declarative pledges to abide by the provisions of the SOFA, and I thank James (and, through him, Odierno) for replying to my piece.