WASHINGTON — It would take a complete failure of the Iraqi security forces for the United States to resume combat operations there, the top American commander in Iraq said as the final US fighting forces prepared to leave the country.
With a major military milestone in sight, General Ray Odierno said in interviews broadcast yesterday that any resumption of combat duties by American forces is unlikely.
“We don’t see that happening,’’ Odierno said. Iraqi security forces have been doing “so well for so long now that we really believe we’re beyond that point.’’
President Obama plans a major speech on Iraq after his return to Washington, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity yesterday. The speech will come shortly after Obama returns to the White House on Sunday from his Martha’s Vineyard vacation.