5 Oct 2005

American Samoa troops committed to Iraq for long run, says congressman

7:47 pm on 5 October 2005

The American Samoa member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, says the territory is committed to keeping its troops in Iraq for the long run.

A seventh American Samoan soldier has died in Iraq, leaving the territory with the highest per capita casualty rate in the US.

Faleomavaega admits that public opinion in the territory, like in mainland US, is increasingly against the military presence in Iraq.

But he says before their troops can come home, the US needs to stabilise Iraq.

"We've created a problem, supposedly to provide more security, but in reality the number of suicide bombs and incidents has actually increased by eight percent since 9/11. So we made some miscalculations and I think we need to really face the realities and see how else we can find ways to stabilise the situation there in Iraq."

Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin says the war in Iraq may become another Vietnam for the US.