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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon traveled through Afghanistan on Friday in a trip with four other governors and General Craig McKinley, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. His trip included Kuwait and Iraq as well, as he meets with military leadership and visits Missouri troops and military hospitals. KSMU’s Adam Murphy reports.
Missouri has lost three soldiers in the last few weeks in Afghanistan. Between his meetings with military leaders, Nixon has also visited National Guard units from Poplar Bluff and Joplin, including some of the soldiers who served with the late Sergeant Robert Crow.
Nixon was hopeful in his views of the future for Afghanistan. He says he thinks the newly appointed General Petraeus will accomplish his mission there.
“I have a lot of faith in General Petraeus. He is a proven leader, a proven hero for our country. I think he is extremely well positioned to lead the operation here,” said Nixon.
He says the new troops still arriving in Afghanistan are intended to “root out the enemy”. After being briefed, Nixon says he is confident in the U.S.’s strategy to divide and remove the power of insurgents fighting against U.S. troops.
“I feel that General Petraeus and Ambassador Eikenberry and others that are on the ground here have a solid strategy and a force that’s prepared to complete that strategy,” he said.
He also applauded the volunteer service of the National Guard units from Missouri. Nixon and some of the other members on this visit serve on the eleven-member Council of Governors, which advises the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security on National Guard matters.
The trip is paid for by the Department of Defense.
For KSMU News, I’m Adam Murphy.