Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions is sounding optimistic after his third visit to Iraq. Speaking with reporters Monday in a conference call from Kuwait, Sessions said conditions are improving in the country despite continuing violence.
Session added that the upcoming national election will be an important milestone for Iraq. He says Iraqis' response to the vote on Jan. 30 will help determine how long U.S. troops must remain.
Sessions said he agrees with Secretary of State Colin Powell's assessment that U.S. troops could begin leaving Iraq this year. But he couldn't estimate when Iraqi police and military would be ready to take over internal security, a key element in the eventual American pullout.
While in the Mideast, Sessions met with members of Alabama units including the 908th Airlift Wing from Montgomery; the 117th Air Refueling Wing from Birmingham; the 187th Tactical Fighter Wing of Montgomery; the 1206th Quartermaster Detachment from Wetumpka; and the 498th Transportation Company from Mobile.