Speaking to reporters in Richmond, VA last night, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) attacked “anyone” who points out that he is “fine” with keeping U.S. troops in Iraq for 100 or more years. “Anyone who worries about how long we’re in Iraq does not understand the military and does not understand war,” said McCain.
He then added that it is “really almost insulting to one’s intelligence” to question “how long we’re in Iraq” because he believes the current “strategy” is “succeeding.” Watch it:
By dismissing as na¯ve those concerned with how long the U.S. military is mired in Iraq, McCain is claiming that top officials in the Pentagon don’t understand “the military” or “war” as well as he does. In a recent GOP presidential debate, McCain argued, “I’m the expert” on Iraq.
Top military brass, such as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen and Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, have worried in the past year that “a protracted deployment of U.S. troops”in Iraq would not be a wise move for the military:
- In October 2007, Casey said that “it’s going to take us three or four years and a substantial amount of resources to put” the Army “back in balance” and that time frame depends on when “the conflict end[s].”
- In July 2007, Mullen testified that without political and economic progress in Iraq, “no amount of troops and no amount of time will make much of a difference” and that “a protracted deployment of U.S. troops to Iraq…risks further emboldening Iranian hegemonic ambitions.”
By McCain’s logic, both the Army Chief of Staff and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff don’t “understand the military” as well as he does.