Archive for Saturday, August 16, 2003

Kansan sees U.S. effort in Iraq lasting years

August 16, 2003


— U.S. involvement in Iraq is likely to last several years, Rep. Jerry Moran said Friday after traveling there with fellow lawmakers.

"It seems to me it's not a matter of weeks or months; it's a matter of years," Moran said Friday in a telephone interview as he traveled home to Kansas.

U.S. troops in Iraq believe their work is vital and think they're making progress, Moran said.

"But my guess is that the job is not completed until several years from now," he said. "It will be determined by our success in stopping international terrorism in Iraq. At the moment, the battle on terrorism will either be won or lost in Iraq."

Moran traveled with Reps. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., John Shadegg, R-Ariz., and Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D. Hoekstra serves on the House Intelligence Committee, which organized the weeklong trip.

Moran said he thought coalition forces in Iraq were making progress at putting a stop to widespread looting and sabotage that have knocked out power and interfered with oil supplies.

And he noted that Saddam Hussein's supporters and family members were slowly being eliminated as security threats.

Moran said he was satisfied that a threat existed of Saddam's potential to use weapons of mass destruction. No chemical, biological and nuclear weapons have been found, although President Bush used an unconventional weapons threat as an argument to go to war.

"The way I read the story is that the capability continued, with the necessary personnel and program development, but the actual creation of stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons may have come to an end," Moran said.

"I'm comfortable enough to believe Saddam Hussein was a threat to the West and to the United States," Moran said.

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