Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes landed an interview with Ray Odierno, the new commander of U.S. troops in Iraq. Somehow she managed not to ask him what his strategy for the next year-plus is going to be. The closest she comes is here:
The U.S. is spending $10 billion a month in Iraq. General Odierno will be leaning on the Iraqi government, with its $80 billion surplus, to clean things up, restore electricity and do something about the unemployment rate of upwards of 50 percent, as he becomes the general in charge of nation building.
“You’re almost like a shadow secretary of labor and a minister of public works and talking to them about construction projects and engineering projects and jobs,” Stahl commented.
“Yeah. As we make progress, you know, the problems become actually more complex. And so we have to learn to work with many other agencies in order to do the kind of things we’re talking about,” he replied.
Uhhhhh OK, but what does that mean? How does Odierno tread water with 30,000 fewer troops, an increasingly assertive Iraqi prime minister, a continued sectarian deadlock, and on and on and on and so forth? These are basic questions that remain unanswered.
Stahl’s interview with Odierno follows:
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