Sasse Visits Troops In Middle East

Eight-day trip opportunity to thank Nebraskans, discuss threats from ISIS and Iran

April 6, 2015

Lincoln, NE—This weekend, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse and six other Senators wrapped up a visit to Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq over the weekend.

“This was a tremendous privilege to thank the Nebraskans serving overseas on behalf of everyone back home,” said Sasse. “Although our troops are optimistic that progress is being made and remain determined to see their mission through, many of the soldiers I spoke with expressed their concern that Washington lacks the political will to support their ongoing mission.”

Over eight days, Sasse met with U.S. troops, military officials and political leaders to discuss political, economic and security issues—including threats from both ISIS and Iranian influence in the region—affecting bilateral relations. In addition to visiting with troops, Sasse met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Israeli President Rivlin, Jordanian King Abdullah, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Iraqi President Masum, Afghan President Ghani, Afghan Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, and Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani.

“One of the most urgent threats we face in the Middle East is the rapid spread of jihadi terror in ISIS,” said Sasse. “Although our allies have benefitted from a smooth transition to new political leaders—like Iraqi Prime Minister al-Abadi and Afghan President Ghani—and have retaken territory from ISIS, there’s a long and uncertain road ahead.”

While Sasse was overseas, the Obama Administration announced a framework for a nuclear agreement with Iran to be finalized before June 30, 2015. After meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Sasse remains strongly opposed to any deal that would permit a nuclear Iran.

“Like most Nebraskans, I am completely opposed to a nuclear Iran and don’t understand the White House’s perceived willingness to agree to such bad terms,” concluded Sasse. “Two things are clear though. First, the United States must not accept any deal that falls short of eliminating Iran’s nuclear program. Second, the American people—acting through their elected members of Congress—have a right to thoroughly review any deal.”

Sasse was joined on the trip by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Steve Daines (R-MT), David Perdue (R-GA), and Thom Tillis (R-NC).