McCain: Obama is “inexperienced” on Iraq War, Foreign Policy – Updated

The back and forth today in the press between McCain and Obama over comments concerning how long troops would remain in Iraq and which candidate has more experience on the topic became pretty direct. McCain came out swinging basically saying Obama is completely inexperienced in this area.

Here’s the report on it from Fox News:

John McCain, fighting back against what he says are Barack Obama’s distortions of his position on Iraq, turned the tables on his potential Democratic opponent Tuesday by asking Obama to explain his plans for a “strike force” in the area.

Obama has campaigned vigorously on his pledge to pull troops from Iraq. On Monday, he said he wouldn’t abandon the Mideast in the process of ordering a withdrawal.

“What I said was I would have a strike force in the region, perhaps in Iraq, perhaps outside Iraq so we could take advantage of or we could deal with potential problems that might take place in the region,” Obama said. “That’s very different from saying we’d have a permanent occupation in Iraq. And it’s certainly different from saying we would have a high level of combat troops inside Iraq for a decade or two decades or, as John McCain said, perhaps 100 years.”

McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee, responded Tuesday that he’d like to know how many troops make up a “strike force.”

“Where are they based? What do they do? Now I’m intrigued. He has said he will pull out all troops before. How do you reconcile those two?” McCain asked.

McCain and Obama have been sparring for weeks over a continued U.S. presence in Iraq. McCain has said he would be OK with the U.S. maintaining troops in Iraq for 100 years. Obama has portrayed those remarks as saying McCain is willing to wage war in Iraq for 100 years.

In what appears more and more like discussion between two nominees as opposed to candidates for their respective parties, this debate over Iraq is sure to continue and take shape in the coming months. Obama is now taking hits from McCain and Clinton on the topic of foreign policy experience and he still has a couple debates to answer questions on the topic.

I’ll have some more later along with the video of the two going at each other.


Video of McCain speaking about Obama:

This from Fox News:

Washington, D.C. — Sen. John McCain slammed Sen. Barack Obama Monday after the IL Senator again alleged that McCain is willing to wage a 100-year war in Iraq.

“In all due respect he does not understand…the fundamental elements of national security and warfare,” McCain told reporters aboard his plane during a flight to the Washington area, where he is set to deliver a speech at his high school in Alexandria, VA on Tuesday.

Obama has been hammering McCain for comments he made at a January town hall meeting where the AZ Senator said he would be comfortable with a century-long U.S. troop presence in Iraq. While McCain was alluding a peace-time military force, Democrats have used the comments to make the case that McCain is willing to fight a 100 year war in Iraq.

Also, here’s video of Obama taking some questions on the topic: