An Iowa Congressman is leading a group of lawmakers on a trip to Iraq this weekend. Democrat Dave Loebsack planned the itinerary that will include visits with soldiers and U.S. and Iraqi leaders. It’s Loebsack’s second trip to Iraq. He was there in February.
Loebsack says his focus this time is to talk with officials about the logistics of removing U.S. troops from Iraq in a safe and efficient manner, as soon as possible. Loebsack, who is from Mt. Vernon, says he expects to see some changes in Iraq since his last trip.
"I have no doubt that there’s been some at least marginal military progress made in certain parts of Iraq as a result of the surge," Loebsack told Radio Iowa, "but I’m more interested in what, if any, political reconciliation has occurred and what, if any, economic progress has occured." Loeback serves on the House Armed Services Committee and has voted in favor of resolutions calling for the redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq.
"For me, the goal all along has been to remove our troops over the course of 12 months, beginning as soon as possible," Loebsack said, "but this (trip) is all about finding a safe and responsible way forward and a way out." Loebsack represents the state’s second congressional district, covering much of southeast Iowa.