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Back from Iraq, Wisconsin Rep denies troop surge worked

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River Falls,Wisconsin 54022
Hudson Star Observer
Back from Iraq, Wisconsin Rep denies troop surge worked
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Back from Iraq, U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen, D-Wis., of Appleton, said he saw no proof that last year's U.S. troop surge resulted in this year's reduction in violence.


The first-term lawmaker said numerous developments within Iraq were bigger factors than the surge.

Kagen has no regrets for opposing the U.S. policy. He says we must move from our troops away from Iraq, and toward what he called "the real enemy ... Osama bin Laden."

Kagen did not give a timeline but he said the withdrawal should come as soon as possible.

The National Republican Congressional Committee said it wanted Kagen to admit he was wrong to vote against the troop surge.

But Kagen - who's in a hot re-election contest with former Republican state Assembly Speaker John Gard - said he would not change his votes.

Also, Kagen said his military plane engaged in evasive maneuvers as it was leaving Baghdad last Sunday, and radar detectors discovered a missile launch against the aircraft.

The military press office in Baghdad had no information about such an incident Wednesday night.

U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., who was also on the flight, said a false indicator might have triggered the maneuver.

He said he was impressed by the professional way the flight crew handled it.