Delaware’s Senator Ted Kaufman made his third trip to the region this week.
U.S. Senator from Delaware Ted Kaufman (D) made his third trip to the Southwest Asia this week to gather more information and get a first hand look at the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Kaufman, who spoke with reporters from Afghanistan, says he met with top leaders in all three countries, in addition to meeting with U.S. diplomats and military commanders. Kaufman says, unlike previous trips, he was able to do more travel on the ground instead of by helicopter. “It’s really quite dramatic how much better the atmosphere is, both in Kabul and in Baghdad. It’s really incredible, but it’s still dangerous when you’re out beyond the protection of the embassy or the forward operating bases.”
Kaufman says the situation is looking good for U.S. troops levels to drop to 50,000 in Iraq by September, and for those troops to be out by the end of next year. He says the one trouble spot is in northern Iraq where there is a number of disputes between the Kurds and Arabs, “Over oil, over land, over censuses, over all kinds of things. That’s the one difficult place.”
Kaufman joined Senators Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island), a former Army Ranger, and Kay Hagan (D – North Carolina) on the trip.