Transcript: Martha Raddatz Interviews Gen. Ray Odierno

RADDATZ: And you believe we will be completely out of here by 2011?

ODIERNO: We will. We have signed an agreement that says we will be and I think we're on track to do that.

RADDATZ: But that could change? If the Iraqis want it to change?

ODIERNO: It's their decision. It's a decision that they have to make. But I don't see them making that decision right now.

RADDATZ: But would you still say it's conditions-based, until then?

ODIERNO: No, I think it's based on an Iraqi assessment. Again, if we stayed ... Again, our plan is to be out of here by December, 2011. That's the agreement we signed and we will meet those requirements. What, if the government of Iraq asks us, if they ask us to stay, want to renegotiate, then we'll go through renegotiation and we'll decide at that time what that means.

RADDATZ: I guess I look at other places and I look at Bosnia where we were for ten years and they weren't even shooting at each other then, and in terms of stability, being out by 2011 seems pretty rapid.

ODIERNO: Well, again, I think that's a judgment that will have to be made later on.

RADDATZ: And right now as we sit here and you look into the future, as we draw down, what are your concerns about who might fill that void, what challenges you face?

ODIERNO: Well, again, we do a constant assessment and I think the Iraqi security forces have continued to improve significantly. The Iraqi Army has continued to build their competencies. The Iraqi Special Operations force have built their competencies. The National Police have improved, they have made a complete change and improved significantly. So I think they can fill the gap. In the long term, we hope that the police will fill that gap, and then the Army will turn to external security. I'm not sure we'll see that, though, in the next 18 month. I think the Army will still be required to fill our role as we disengage. But I think just us being here to continue to support them through 2011 will allow them to continue to develop.

RADDATZ: Do you believe the US will leave successful?

ODIERNO: Well, I think we're on track to achieve our objectives here. I think our objectives are a secure, stable, sovereign Iraq. Iraq that has good governance for the Iraqi people. An Iraq that will be a strategic partner for the United States. I think we have an opportunity to leave successful by meeting those objectives.

RADDATZ: Last question. If the situation worsens, if it really deteriorates, we can't say we're going to stay longer, it's all up to the Iraqis?

ODIERNO: Well, I think, fundamentally we would have to ask them and get approval based on the security agreement, if we wanted to stay longer. Again, that would be something we would have to work out with them. Again, I think we're headed in the right direction, I don't see that happening, but you never say never as we say in this business.

RADDATZ: What do we leave behind?

ODIERNO: Again, what we want to leave behind here is a secure, stable, Iraq.

RADDATZ: (What do we take out of Iraq ) in terms of equipment? In terms of what do we take with us I guess.

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