Obama Plans Pre-Election Trip to Iraq, Afghanistan
By Anne E. Kornblut
FLINT, Mich. -- Sen. Barack Obama said on Monday that he is planning to travel to Iraq and Afghanistan ahead of the general election this fall, and said details of the trip will be announced soon.
Obama has promised to end the war in Iraq, but is seeking to demonstrate his plan would not create a security risk in the region or put him at odds with Iraqi leaders and US military generals. Obama also said he spoke with the Iraqi foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, about the war today; McCain met with the foreign official a day earlier in Washington.
Obama, speaking with reporters as he landed here for a campaign event on the economy, repeated his call for US troop withdrawal and for Iraqis to bear a larger share of the war's fiscal burdens, especially reconstruction. He again tied the war in Iraq to US economic concerns.
In his speech here in Flint, Obama said, "It's time to stop spending billions of dollars a week on a blank check for an Iraqi government that won't spend its own oil revenues."
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