Odierno echoed the new tough line toward Iranian interference in Iraq, "We have to be able to make sure that they understand they cannot operate freely in Iraq in order to support extremist organizations throughout Iraq." Just last week, American forces detained five Iranians in Northern Iraq suspected of being Iranian Revolutionary Guards providing support to insurgents.
Odierno labeled Iran an "accelerant to violence" that provides money, training and weapons to extremists in Iraq. "We can't allow that to happen," he said.
The war in Iraq has come at a personal cost for Odierno. His son, Capt. Tony Odierno, lost an arm to a roadside blast when he was deployed to Iraq in 2004. Odierno said his son had no regrets about his military service or his deployment to Iraq. "Frankly, I think if he felt he was able, he'd be over here again," he said.
Odierno wants to ensure that the U.S. mission in Iraq is successful for more than just strategic reasons. "I want to make sure that they've lost their lives for a reason or they were injured for a reason…I think it is a just cause and I want us to be successful and accomplish this mission so they know that their sacrifices were not given in vain."