Top Democrats make trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan

Two top Democrats traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan over the congressional recess to survey the progress of U.S. military efforts in the region. 

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, traveled with Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), a senior member of that panel, to the nations, and will return next week. 

The pair traveled to the region “to get a firsthand look at security and political developments in the region and their impact on America’s national security,” according to Levin’s office. The two senators’ visit will include meetings with foreign leaders and American military officials in the area.

The trip comes after Gen. David Petraeus officially assumed his new role as commander of troops in the region, replacing Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who resigned following controversial criticism of President Barack Obama. 

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the ranking member of the Armed Services committee, traveled last weekend and earlier this week on his own trip to those regions, as well as Iraq and Israel. McCain traveled with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).