The outgoing US Army chief had plenty to discuss during his last press conference on 12 August. General Raymond Odierno, said the US should consider embedding American troops in Iraq and also said he disagreed with Republican candidate Donald Trump's plan to defeat Isis.
The Army's 38th chief of staff, who will retire on 14 August and pass on the position to General Mark Milley, said US service members could serve as direct advisers to Iraqi units, Stars and Stripes reported.
"If we find in the next several months we're not making the progress that we have, we should probably absolutely consider embedding some soldiers and see if that will make a difference," Odierno said. "It's an option we should present to the president when the time is right."
According to Stars and Stripes, there are over 2,900 US soldiers stationed in Iraq and throughout the Middle East to support the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. The troops in Iraq do not operate on the battlefield, but instead serve as advisors.
Odierno also said he disagreed with Republican candidate Donald Trump's plan to defeat Isis. In a 11 August interview on Fox and Friends, the GOP front-runner said he would send US troops to Iraq to seize control of Iraqi oil fields, which are being used by Isis to raise funds.
"I didn't want to go there in the first place, but now we take the oil. We should have kept the oil, now we go in, we knock the hell out of them, take their oil. We thereby take their wealth," Trump said.
The top Army general, however, said military power is not enough to solve all the problems plaguing the Middle East, the Washington Examiner reported. Odierno said part of the reason stability in the region did not last after 10 years of fighting in Iraq is that political and economic issues were not resolved.
"There's limits to military power," Odierno said. "Do we achieve sustainable outcomes? It's about sustainable outcomes. The problem we've had is we've had outcomes, but they've been only short-term outcomes because we haven't properly looked at the political and economic sides of it."