Senator visits Iraq and Afghanistan to get better picture of US missions

Helena Independent Record

U.S. Senator Jon Tester is visiting Iraq and Afghanistan this week to meet with military and political leaders, and Montana troops, while assessing American missions in the two war zones.

“The best way to get a picture of what’s happening in Iraq and Afghanistan is to go there myself and talk with the folks making decisions and the folks with boots on the ground,” Tester said. “Our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are the smartest, toughest and strongest in the world, and I look forward to hearing directly from them in order to make the best decisions I can back in the Senate.”

He is traveling with Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Jack Reed, D-R.I. Reed is on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Levin is its chairman.

Tester met Tuesday with Montanans serving in Operation New Dawn in Iraq, as well as military commanders and Iraqi government leaders. He is expected to arrive in Afghanistan later this week.

Due to security, details of Tester’s visits cannot be released in advance, however Tester plans to post updates on his trip to his official Facebook page,

Tester also visited Iraq in November 2007. This will be Tester’s first visit to Afghanistan.

He is due to return Sunday.