Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan this week to meet with military personnel, and said that the visit had opened her eyes and perhaps even softened her earlier opposition to President Barack Obama's timeline for withdrawal from Afghanistan.
According to Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services, Brewer told reporters in a phone interview from Afghanistan that she had entered the country believing the president's plan to withdraw combat forces by September 2014 was too hasty.
"Today, I don't feel that way," she said, according to Fischer. Brewer went on to say that she'd defer to the experts on the broader considerations of the timetable.
"I feel very, very confident that they are doing what [commanders and service members] believe is right ... and they are doing it the right way," Brewer said.
She also called the entire experience "surreal" and said that its easy to "forget that everyone is carrying real guns and they are putting their lives on the line."
"You know that but until you actually see it, it's very different," she added. "It's the real deal."
Brewer's unscheduled disappearance from Arizona caused something of a stir this week, after she left her deputy, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, to oversee the official certification of Arizona's recent election results as acting governor. Her travel plans were kept secret as part of a security protocol on such official visits to war zones.
Brewer's staff confirmed that, before leaving for Afghanistan, the governor met with Army combat medic Mason Steill, who was undergoing treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
Brewer is expected to return to Arizona on Saturday afternoon.