U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is headed back to Washington, D.C., after spending four days in the Middle East meeting with military and diplomatic leaders in Afghanistan.
The Republican congresswoman met with Gen. John Allen, the commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, and spent time with soldiers in the region, where relations have been strained since an Army sergeant killed 17 Afghan civilians in March.
Bachmann, a member of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, has been critical of President Barack Obama's plan to pull troops out of Afghanistan by 2014. But during a conference call with reporters today, she said it's too soon to determine the proper time to formally leave.
"We don't want to talk away prematurely," she said, noting the loss of both U.S. and international lives in the region. "But at the same time, we don't to stay here any longer ... than we need to."
Bachmann left Washington on Thursday, at the end of the U.S. House of Representatives work week as part of a Congressional delegation to the region. During her time overseas, she also ate meals and chatted with troops from Minnesota stationed in Afghanistan, including a female solider who used to work in her district office.