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Statement By John McCain On U.S.-Iraqi SOFA Negotiations

August 22, 2008

ARLINGTON, VA -- U.S. Senator John McCain today issued the following statement on the U.S.-Iraqi negotiations for a Status of Forces Agreement:

"I am pleased that, following the surge strategy led by General David Petraeus and our brave men and women in uniform, security in Iraq has improved to the point at which we can responsibly talk with our Iraqi allies about U.S. troop withdrawals. Because of the hard-won success of this strategy, the Iraqi security forces are able to take on ever greater responsibility for security in their country. We should not forget that this is possible only because of the surge -- a strategy many predicted would fail and that some cannot, even today, recognize as a stunning success.

"While negotiations with the Iraqi government are ongoing, reports indicate that all dates included in the draft security agreement are aspirational goals, based on conditions on the ground. Conditions-based withdrawals of U.S. troops are the precise opposite course of that advocated by Senator Obama. Senator Obama seeks to withdraw all U.S. combat forces regardless of the consequences for Iraq or for American national security, and in disregard of our commanders' best counsel. Had we followed his course, Iraq could have easily descended into chaos and America would have suffered a catastrophic defeat. Instead, we are today negotiating a conditions-based agreement that will enable us to withdraw troops in victory and with honor."

John McCain, Statement By John McCain On U.S.-Iraqi SOFA Negotiations Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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