Now that a growing number of top Iraqi officials are talking openly about a timeline for U.S. troop withdrawal, it's worth taking a moment to consider how this might factor into John McCain’s vision of an indefinite war, followed by an indefinite troop presence.
As luck would have it, McCain was asked about this kind of scenario at the Council of Foreign Relations in 2004, and gave a very straightforward answer.
Question: “What would or should we do if, in the post-June 30th period, a so-called sovereign Iraqi government asks us to leave, even if we are unhappy about the security situation there?”
McCain’s Answer: “Well, if that scenario evolves than I think it’s obvious that we would have to leave because — if it was an elected government of Iraq, and we’ve been asked to leave other places in the world. If it were an extremist government then I think we would have other challenges, but I don’t see how we could stay when our whole emphasis and policy has been based on turning the Iraqi government over to the Iraqi people.” [emphasis added]
Adam Blickstein asked, “Does the John McCain of 2008 agree with this assessment?” Sounds like the kind of question an enterprising political reporter might pose to the Republican candidate.