Ahead of Withdrawal Deadline, Cheney Says He Hopes U.S. Sacrifice Does Not Go to 'Waste'

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said he hopes the U.S. military's sacrifice in Iraq does not go to "waste" as a deadline to withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraqi cities looms. 

Cheney told The Washington Times' America's Morning News radio show that he supports Gen. Ray Odierno, top commander in Iraq, but that insurgents could be waiting in the wings to launch more attacks. 

"I hope Iraqis can deal with it. At some point they have to stand on their own. But I would not want to see the U.S. waste all the tremendous sacrifice that has gotten us to this point," Cheney said. 

Odierno told "FOX News Sunday" that U.S. forces are already out of Iraqi cities, ahead of the Tuesday deadline. 

About 130,000 U.S. troops still remain in Iraq, but Odierno said that the military has already fallen back to let the Iraqis take the lead in running security for their country. 

"It is time for them to take responsibility inside the cities," Odierno said. "It's time for this partnership to have an Iraqi lead, it's time for this partnership to have the Iraqis out in front." 

Odierno said U.S. troops still will be training and advising Iraqi forces and Americans will be conducting operations outside Iraqi cities after the deadline. U.S. forces are expected to withdraw from the country by the end of 2010 as part of a U.S.-Iraqi security agreement. 

Click here to listen to the interview with Cheney.