Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is praising the agreement President Bush has made with NATO’s secretary general that all 26 allied nations work together to help train Iraq’s military. Some critics have found fault with NATO, waiting until the U.S. spent millions of dollars and lost hundreds of lives before joining on, but Grassley says it’s a positive move. Grassley says “Since World War One, the United States has always done the dirty work for Europe and it’s in the tradition of America’s goodness that we move ahead, even when we don’t have traditional allies following us.” Grassley says the NATO agreement would put more international troops into Iraq to help bring that country’s internal security up to snuff, meaning fewer U.S. troops would have to remain there. Grassley says “It’s very, very good news for a war-weary American military and American people pessimistic about what the future holds. I think that we ought to accept it and let bygones be bygones and hope that they (NATO) really take a very major role.” Grassley says if the NATO troops will train alongside the Iraqis, it’ll be “very good news for bringing our troops home.” Reports say the U.S./NATO agreement is meant to symbolize the end to the bitter divisions over the war in Iraq. 20 Iowans in uniform have died on the battlefields of Iraq or Afghanistan, while another ten soldiers and airmen with Iowa ties have died.
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