U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says no to sending U.S. ground troops back to Iraq, but his Republican opponent in the Senate race says they shouldn’t have left in the first place. State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) told the Chicago Tribune editorial board the U.S. should have kept a sizeable military presence in Iraq, similar to what it has in Korea and Germany.
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“As a guess, maybe 10,000 (troops) would have a reasonable number,” Oberweis said. “Certainly 5 to 10,000 would have been making a commitment. For how long? I don’t know how long.” But U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Oberweis doesn’t recognize that a problem with staying in both Iraq and Afghanistan was the countries wouldn’t agree to terms with the U.S. to keep troops out of those nations’ courts.
“What he’s just said is that we would’ve left American soldiers on the ground in these countries subject to be tried for crimes in the courts of that country if they executed their military duties,” Durbin said. Durbin says that was a sticking point in negotiations for both President Obama and former President George W. Bush when negotiating the withdrawal of troops.