The fight against Islamic State (IS) militants is at a stalemate, and if the U.S. military does not see progress in coming months it should consider embedding troops with Iraqi forces, the army's retiring top general has said.
"See if that would make a difference...I think that's an option we should present to the president," said General Raymond Odierno, who retires as army chief of staff on August 14.
During a final Pentagon news conference on August 12, Odierno spoke at length about Iraq and his frustrations as a commander who spent three tours there only to see the country plunge again into chaos.
He discounted suggestions by Republican presidential contenders that the United States should take more aggressive military action in Iraq, saying the solution lies with political and economic reforms.
He said the United States could probably go into Iraq with enough force to defeat the IS group, but the success would not last.
"We'd probably be right back where we are today six months later," Odierno said. "I absolutely believe that the region has to solve this problem. The U.S. cannot solve this problem for the region."