Thursday, September 18, 2008

Odierno in, Petraeus out


General Ray Odierno (pictured) has replaced General David Petraeus as commander of US forces in Iraq. General Petraeus's tour came to an end on Tuesday where the change in command was marked at a ceremony in Baghdad which was attended by secretary of defence Robert Gates. General Petraeus will return to America a hero as he is largely credited as the man who turned the tide in Iraq. Violence in Iraq is unquestionably down. However there is a debate raging as to what brought it down. Some say it was the May 2007 troop surge which was overseen by Petraeus. Others claim that a series of political events such as the Sunni/Anbar awakening and the Shia ceasefires are responsible for the improvement in security. Either way Petraeus's legacy is fairly secure at least in the short term.

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