February 9th, 2009
11:35 AM ET

The dissenter who changed the war

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/07/holbrooke.afghanistan/art.afghanistan.gi.jpg]
Thomas E. Ricks

Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno was an unlikely dissident, with little in his past to suggest that he would buck his superiors and push the U.S. military in radically new directions.

A 1976 West Point graduate and veteran of the Persian Gulf War and the Kosovo campaign, Odierno had earned a reputation as the best of the Army's conventional thinkers - intelligent and ambitious, but focused on using the tools in front of him rather than discovering new and unexpected ones. That image was only reinforced during his first tour in Iraq after the U.S. invasion in 2003.


Filed under: First 100 Days • Iraq • War on Terror
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Annie Kate

    More government officials need to learn from the General – don't stay wedded to how you have done things before if they are not working; find a new ploy that will work and go with it. Being flexible and being able to adapt to new situations seems to be the General's hallmark – at least in this case. I wish other branches of the government would take heed and change their strategies when they don't work with ones more suited to the problem at hand.

    February 9, 2009 at 5:33 pm |