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Odierno, who has served as commander of multinational forces in Iraq, said a large American force could provoke new claims of U.S. occupation and distract from important efforts to develop the Iraqi military’s abilities.

“I always felt we had to be careful about leaving too many people in Iraq,” Odierno said Thursday in a question-and-answer session with journalists at the Pentagon.

“What I would say is there comes a time, and I’ve said it before, when it becomes counterproductive,” he said. “So we’ve got to decide what that right number is.”

Source: Charley Keyes for CNN.

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