US combat troops would only return to Iraq in the case of "a complete failure" of Iraqi security forces, Gen. Ray Odierno said Sunday as the final US fighting forces readied to leave the country.
With a major military milestone in sight, the top US commander in Iraq Gen. Ray Odierno said in interviews broadcast Sunday that any resumption of combat duties by American forces is unlikely.
"We don't see that happening," Odierno said. The Iraqi security forces have been doing "so well for so long now that we really believe we're beyond that point."
President Barack Obama plans a major speech on Iraq after his return to Washington, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because details were being finalized. The speech will come shortly after Obama returns to the White House on Aug. 29 from his Martha's Vineyard vacation.