On CNN, Lt. Gen. Odierno discusses Operation Arrowhead Ripper and other new operations throughout Iraq:
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN: “General Odierno, what’s the goal of Arrowhead Ripper?”
ODIERNO: “Well first, it's a little bit bigger than Arrowhead Ripper. It's a large scale core operation that’s going on in several different areas within Iraq. One of them being Arrowhead Ripper in Baqubah. Another one happening in Arab Jabour – in Third ID’s area -- and another operation going on in Multinational Force West out north of Fallujah, and a series of operations in order to go after al Qaeda strongholds in and around Baghdad that is affecting our ability to provide security to the populous of Iraq.”
ROBERTS: “Is this because you believe a lot of what happens in Baghdad comes from outside of the city itself?
ODIERNO: “It is our assessment that many of the accelerants that we call them -- truck bombs, car bombs, and other things -- originate outside of Baghdad. We call it the Baghdad belts. The areas surrounding Baghdad that try to influence the population inside of Baghdad.”
ROBERTS: “General Odierno, we certainly hear a lot of opinions about this in Congress these days. Let me go to you on the ground there and ask: the so-called ‘surge,’ is it working or not?”
ODIERNO: “Well, first off, the full surge just got into place on the 15th of June. So it takes some time for the soldiers to get used to the area they're in because it's a very complex environment. So, in my mind, we have to give it a little bit of a chance yet.
“I would say 60 to 90 days from now we can give an initial assessment on how well the surge is doing. In order to comment on the surge now in my mind is much too premature because it is just now beginning in its full glory.”
ROBERTS: “Do you have any early indications?”
ODIERNO: “Well, I would say, for example, our ability to do these operations that we're doing now. We weren't able to do that before. So we can maintain security forces inside of Baghdad while we’re simultaneously conducting operations in Baqubah, Arab Jabour, Fallujah. So that allows us to keep pressure on them.
“More importantly I'm hoping it will allow us to maintain it over a long period of time and continue to buy the time and space necessary for the Iraqi security forces to take over.”...