Odierno Highlights Airpower Shift in Iraq

There has not been a kinetic air strike in Iraq in at least six months and there’s not likely to be another one any time soon, Army Gen. Raymond Odierno, head of US Forces-Iraq, said Wednesday. “In 2007, we had to do [kinetic strikes] in order to get control, but now that we’ve gotten control back, we don’t need to use that kind of capability,” he told reporters during a Pentagon briefing. He added, “We don’t want to alienate people with collateral damage.” With the number of US troops in Iraq having gone down by 75,000 since January 2009, the focus of operations has shifted more to stability operations, he said. Still, airpower has many other uses there, Odierno said. “It’s great for reconnaissance and we use it for deterrence. It still plays a role, but one that’s much different,” he explained. (Odierno transcript)