Odierno doesn't foresee return of combat troops

WASHINGTON (AP) - The top American commander in Iraq says it would take a complete failure of the Iraqi security forces for the U.S. to resume combat operations.

Gen. Ray Odierno says officials don't see that happening because Iraqi forces have been doing "so well for so long."

He says U.S. involvement in Iraq beyond the end of 2011 would probably involve assisting Iraqis with equipment, training and technical capabilities to help secure their borders.

Odierno says it may be several years before America can determine whether the war was a success. He says that will hinge on whether a strong, democratic Iraq emerges.

Odierno made the comments in interviews with CBS' "Face the Nation" and CNN's "State of the Union" that aired today.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)