A military expert in Congress, who happens to be the veteran of the Missouri Congressional delegation, says the next president must carefully consider the right strategy for American military might in the Middle East.

West-Central Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, is a Democrat in a position to provide advice to his party’s presumptive presidential nominee Barack Obama. Skelton says that if Obama asks, he will advise two things. He says the readiness of the military must be improved, especially that of the Army and Marines which he says have been stretched thin. Skelton also says he would emphasize the importance of Afghanistan. Skelton believes any attack on America will come from the Taliban or al Qaeda entrenched in the rugged mountains along the Afghanistan and Pakistan border.

Skelton says America must make a strategic withdrawal from Iraq, handing over security to the Iraqis. He says the Iraqis must take over their own security, adding that he’s concerned that the Iraqi government hasn’t been more aggressive in taking control. Skelton points out the United Nations mandate runs out at the end of the year with negotiations for the status of forces agreement with the US at an impasse.

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