Barack Obama landed in Basra today and headed to Baghdad for the latest leg of his world tour, the Washington Post reports. The candidate, who made a brief stop in Kuwait last night after 2 days in Afghanistan, will meet with US commanders and Iraqi officials and speak with US troops and civilian employees. He is accompanied by Democratic Sen. Jack Reed from the Senate Armed Services Committee, CNN reports, and Republican war critic Chuck Hagel.
Obama's pledge to withdraw all US combat troops within 16 months of taking office is expected to be the focus of his meetings with Gen. David Petraeus and Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki. The candidate's visit to Iraq, his second ever and first since 2006, will be followed by stops in Jordan, Israel, Germany, France, and Britain.