After a weeklong series of U.S. Middle East policy briefings and a trip to Iraq, Gov. Bill Ritter is returning home to Colorado. Gov. Ritter traveled with South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds and Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri to Iraq to experience conditions there first-hand. More than 30 governors have toured Iraq by invite from the U.S. Departments of Defense and State, as part of a fact-finding program about the Middle East.
Ritter met with U.S. military and diplomatic officials such as Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq; Maj. Gen. Dennis Hardy of U.S. Central Command and local Iraqi government leaders for an update on the U.S. military situation in Iraq.
On Wednesday, Ritter also visited with Colorado National Guard members. He toured several military installations, neighborhoods and a local hospital in Iraq during his stay.
Iraq remains a dangerous area. In the few days Ritter was there, roadside bombs hit Baghdad and 19 bodies were found near the city.
Top photo: Gov. Ritter and S.D. Gov. Rounds in Baghdad. Note the concrete barriers littering the background. Second photo: Ritter chats with soldiers from Colorado. Photos provided by the governor’s office.