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McCain: Americans Divided, Dissatisfied over U.S. Foreign Policy

Council on Foreign Relations

Interviewee: John McCain
Interviewer: Robert McMahon, Deputy Editor

December 7, 2007

A leading Republican candidate for president of the United States, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), has carved out a position as a strong backer of the military surge in Iraq and comprehensive immigration reform at home. A month before the presidential primary season began, McCain said Americans should plan to have a large deployment of troops in Iraq “for quite a period of time.” And he said an immigration plan involving temporary-worker provisions and settlement of illegal alien status is still necessary but not likely to be revisited until 2009.

Senator, Iraq was once considered the defining issue of this election campaign, but it’s now barely discussed on the campaign trail. Is this one of the consequences of the surge and is this a good thing?

It’s a good thing for America that we are succeeding after the Democrats had declared the war lost, [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid (D-NV) did and others. So it’s a good thing in the respect that our success has lessened the visibility of the issue. But I would make two points. One is that the [congressional] Democrats are still trying to cut off funding and force withdrawal, which then would reverse all the successes that we have achieved and cause chaos and genocide in the region and al-Qaeda would be winning again. It’s not over, al-Qaeda is on the run, they’re not defeated. And the battle goes on with the Democrats, who declared the war lost when clearly the facts on the ground indicate that we are succeeding.

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Copyright 2007 by the Council on Foreign Relations. This material is republished on GlobalSecurity.org with specific permission from the cfr.org. Reprint and republication queries for this article should be directed to cfr.org.

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