Can Ray Odierno Make Iraq Safe for the US to Leave?

Ray Odierno, the top commander in Iraq, turned the surge into a success. As U.S. troops start to withdraw, his job now is to make it last

Yuri Kozyrev / Noor for TIME

General Ray Odierno

Correction Appended: Nov. 24, 2008

When Ray Odierno took over the top military post in Iraq from General David Petraeus in September, there was a lot of hand-wringing among folk at defense think tanks in Washington worried that he was the wrong man for the job. They pointed to Odierno's reputation from his first tour in Iraq, in 2003, as a heavy-handed division commander who had neither a grasp of the subtleties of fighting an insurgency nor the political acumen to sell his ideas back home. Some correspondents who covered Iraq in the months after the fall of Saddam Hussein...

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