Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq is "very tempting," but it could lead to more instability in the region. "We find ourselves in a very difficult position now and we have a number of options. One is just to get up and walk out. That’s very tempting. It presents an additional risk to America and to our interests that’s a pretty severe risk," Romney says.
"If we were to walk out precipitously, it’s very possible that the nation would devolve into a massive civil war and that the neighbors would start grabbing power." According to Romney, that means withdrawn U.S. troops might then have to return to an "even worse setting" with Iran and Syria staking claims on Iraqi territory.
Romney supports President Bush’s "troop surge" and he says if it works, "we’ll all celebrate." If it doesn’t, "other options" are always available, according to Romney. Romney has been calling for an increase in full-time soldiers.
"We have taxed our active duty and reserve and national guard to a level which is really quite excessive in some respects," Romney says. "I would like to see us add at least 100,000 troops to our military." Romney is campaigning in Newton, Sioux City, Sioux Center and LeMars today.