McCain: Obama's Plan Could 'Reverse' Progress in Iraq

"I think that it's very clear that Senator Obama has refused to recognize that the strategy in Iraq called the surge has succeeded and that America has succeeded in Iraq and will come home with victory and with honor," McCain said. "If he'd have had his way they'd have been out last month."

McCain also stood by his comments to CBS's Katie Couric that the surge began the "Anbar awakening" -- a statement called into question by bloggers and then called wrong by the Obama campaign.

The media was briefed on the Anbar awakening on Sept. 29, 2006, by then commander, now Gen. Sean McFarland months before the surge was announced by President Bush in January 2007.

Standing by those comments Wednesday, McCain argued that parts of what is now known as the troop surge strategy had been deployed before the President announced the plan to the American public.

"Actually the surge is a strategy, and Col. McFarlane who I briefed with in 2006 had already started deploying that strategy, gone into Ramadi, clearing and holding," he said. "It's more than a number of troops. It's a strategy. Col. MacFarlane was deploying that strategy and that strategy was having some limited success. But it needed some additional troops which were then made available as a result of increasing the number of troops, which is a part of the surge."

McCain added, "Anybody who knows anything about Iraq, about the situation knows that."

The presumptive Republican nominee argued that Obama's plan setting a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq is dangerous.

"General Petraeus has been in charge of this incredible, incredible reversal of fortunes in Iraq has said it would be a dangerous course," McCain told Wright. "The future of young Americans who are at stake here. Because if we do what he wants to do, which is withdraw -- and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on a certain date has said that it's very dangerous, and even in Senator Obama's own admission we could have to go back -- then that's dangerous for the future of America. And he should know better if he wants to be commander in chief, and certainly behave differently as far as this, our presence and our strategy in Iraq."

McCain argued Iraq is not ready for American troops to leave.

"We'll reach an agreement with the Iraqis. They're interested in their national security. But it'll be based on conditions on the ground," he said.

"Senator Obama still wants to set a date for withdrawal, and he still, regardless of conditions on the ground, which the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has said is very dangerous."

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