Death of General Raymond T. Odierno, former US commander in Iraq

General Odierno facilitated the rapid deployment of an additional 20,000 troops – the build-up, as it was called – to help quell the insu...


General Odierno facilitated the rapid deployment of an additional 20,000 troops – the build-up, as it was called – to help quell the insurgency.

The proposed reinforcement of troops divided the army and met with opposition from Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. But Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley supported him, as did Gen. Jack Keane, a former vice chief of staff in the military who had the ear of influential White House officials.

In January 2007, President George W. Bush approved the troop increase, sacked Mr. Rumsfeld and appointed General David H. Petraeus as the new Commander-in-Chief in Iraq to implement the new strategy, along with General Odierno, n ° 2. general in Iraq, as the operational leader of the plan.

“Ray Odierno – the Big O of his many admirers, and I am among them – was a truly extraordinary leader, soldier and human being,” General Petraeus said in an email Saturday.

The push was considered a success at the time, as it drastically reduced sectarian killings and the war-shocked nation slowly began to stabilize. But military historians debate the long-term effectiveness of the strategy.

General Odierno received his fourth star, becoming a full general, in 2008, when he replaced General Petraeus as commander-in-chief of the multinational force in Iraq.

The war directly affects the family of General Odierno. His son, Anthony Odierno, a West Point graduate like his father, served as an infantry platoon leader with the First Cavalry Division in Baghdad. His vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade on August 21, 2004 and he lost his left arm.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Death of General Raymond T. Odierno, former US commander in Iraq
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