As I noted earlier this week, Sen. Jon Tester is paying a visit to Iraq and Afghanistan.
In one of the first news reports out of his trip, Tester reports progress in Iraq, saying:
“When I went over in 2007, there were far more questions than answers created by that trip,” said Tester. “Now you can see light at the end of the tunnel here in Iraq. There are still some issues they’ve got to overcome and deal with, but the fact of the matter is you can see opportunity for success and stability – and it’s very, very, positive,” Tester said.
So far, it hasn’t been noted- but of course the only reason Iraq has made this progress, and the reason our troops are about to leave Iraq, is because of the very troop surge that Senator Jon Tester opposed.
While opposing the surge in Iraq, he added that Afghanistan was the real focus of the war on terror. He then opposed the troop surge in Afghanistan as well.
(Editor’s note added Jan. 25th 2011: As Senator Tester’s staff correctly noted, Sen. Tester in the end did vote for President Obama’s watered down troop surge in Afghanistan. A watered down surge, of course, that came after months of delay in even announcing a decision by the President, and a surge that gave military commanders far fewer troops than they actually asked for. Even though Sen. Tester did, in fact, vote for the watered down surge: he certainly didn’t press too hard for the troop increase. In fact, he didn’t even endorse the President’s plan the day after his West Point speech.
Chuck Johnson had this:
“I still have concerns about how this plan will benefit our long-term national security, and our country can’t afford an open-ended commitment,” said Democratic Sen. Jon Tester. “That is why we need to ensure we have strong benchmarks for progress, a clear exit plan and we need to see our allies continue to take a larger share of the fight.”)
The Hill noted that this is Tester’s first ever visit to Afghanistan (I thought he already went there) since his election more than 4 years ago.
Ahead of what’s expected to be a tough reelection race, Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D) is set to make his first visit to Afghanistan this week.
Tester was in Iraq Tuesday, where he met with Montanan soldiers, military commanders and Iraqi government leaders.
He’s expected to arrive in Afghanistan for his first official visit there later this week. The trip could help burnish Tester’s foreign policy credentials as he shapes his 2012 reelection effort.
So go ahead, gladhand all the troops and tell them what a great job they are doing. Meanwhile, we all know full well that when the votes came down- Senator Tester didn’t give the troops the backup they needed on the battlefield. Try telling the mother of a soldier whose son was stationed on a remote outpost that more soldiers weren’t needed in Afghanistan.