Two Democrats are vying to replace Rep. Don Bacon this year — nonprofit executive Kara Eastman and former congressman Brad Ashford.
It’s not clear the extent to which foreign policy will factor into this year’s elections. Public debate recently has focused more on domestic policy areas such as the economy, health care and taxes.
But Bacon will certainly tout his background and expertise in military matters.
For his part, Ashford served on the House Armed Services Committee during his one term in Congress and traveled to the Middle East as well.
Ashford praised progress in both Iraq and Afghanistan, saying the military has done a tremendous job in both countries and adding that he thinks the success was enabled by the work of the Armed Services Committee during his time on the panel.
He highlighted some of the same concerns in both countries that were mentioned by Bacon, however, and said that he expects America to be in Afghanistan “for a generation.” He also stressed the importance of robust diplomatic efforts.
Eastman said in a statement that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have continued for too long and cost too many American lives.
“We must find solutions rooted in diplomacy,” Eastman said. “Putting more American lives in serious jeopardy is immoral especially when the administration does not have a clear strategy and exit plan.”