Senator John Walsh (D. MT), who was appointed to replace Senator Max Baucus (D. MT), is the only Iraq War Veteran currently serving in the U.S. Senate. He is running against Tea Party Congressman Steve Daines (R. MT). He spoke on Senate floor today urging for extreme caution about sending troops back to Iraq:
Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) once served as adjutant general of the Montana National Guard and led more than 700 soldiers in Iraq from 2004 to 2005. The former lieutenant governor came to the Senate earlier this year as the successor to former senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.).
As the most junior senator in the Senate, Walsh is rarely seen or heard from, but Wednesday he delivered the Democratic counterargument to Republicans who in recent days have urged President Obama to use military action to target fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other insurgents.
The Pentagon’s top leaders warned Wednesday that airstrikes in Iraq would be fraught with complications and suggested that a rush to take such action could backfire.
In a speech Wednesday afternoon, Walsh agreed. With his son, Michael, who also served in Iraq, watching from the Senate Gallery, Walsh read aloud the names of the four men from his unit who were killed in action during the war. "There isn't a day that goes by when I don't think of those men and their families," he said.
"America cannot afford another Iraq financially or the human costs that are associated with war," he said later. "We did our job there, and we did it with honor and integrity, and our men and women should be very proud of their success, and the citizens of this country should be proud of the accomplishments of the men and women who served in our armed forces." But sending U.S. troops "into the middle of a civil war is not a solution," he said.
You can watch the full speech above.