Page last updated at 20:36 GMT, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 21:36 UK

John McCain speech: highlights

John McCain, 15 July 2008
Mr McCain criticised Mr Obama's foreign policy proposals at length
Senator John McCain, the Republican contender for the US presidency, has brushed off criticisms from his Democratic rival over his policy on Iraq.

Addressing supporters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he said Barack Obama's foreign policy speech could have waited until the senator had seen for himself the progress US troops have been making there.

Here are highlights from his speech.


Over the last year, Senator Obama and I were part of a great debate about the war in Iraq.

Both of us agreed the Bush administration had pursued a failed strategy there and that we had to change course.

Where Senator Obama and I disagreed, fundamentally, was what course we should take.

I called for a comprehensive new strategy - a surge of troops and counter-insurgency to win the war. Senator Obama disagreed. He opposed the surge, predicted it would increase sectarian violence, and called for our troops to retreat as quickly as possible.

Today we know Senator Obama was wrong. The surge has succeeded.


Security in Afghanistan has deteriorated, and our enemies are on the offensive.

Senator Obama will tell you we can't win in Afghanistan without losing in Iraq. In fact, he has it exactly backwards.

It is precisely the success of the surge in Iraq that shows us the way to succeed in Afghanistan.

It is by applying the tried and true principles of counter-insurgency used in the surge - which Senator Obama opposed - that we will win in Afghanistan.

What we need in Afghanistan is exactly what Gen Petraeus brought to Iraq: a nationwide civil-military campaign plan that is focused on providing security for the population.

In particular, the US needs to re-engage deeper in southern Afghanistan, the Taleban heartland.


Last year, the Bush administration appointed a war tsar, responsible for both Iraq and Afghanistan.

This was a step in the right direction. But Afghanistan is sufficiently important that a separate Afghanistan tsar is needed.

I will appoint a highly-respected national security leader, based in the White House and reporting directly to the president, whose sole mission will be to ensure we bring the war in Afghanistan to a successful end.

For years, the Afghans have been telling us they need a bigger army, and they are right. We need to at least double the size of the Afghan army to 160,000 troops.

Getting control of narcotics trafficking is central to our efforts in Afghanistan.

Alternative crops must be able to get to market and traffickers must be arrested and prosecuted by enhanced Special Courts.


I will appoint a special presidential envoy to address disputes between Afghanistan and its neighbours.

A special focus of our regional strategy must be Pakistan, where terrorists today enjoy sanctuary. This must end.

We must strengthen local tribes in the border areas who are willing to fight the foreign terrorists there - the strategy used successfully in Anbar and elsewhere in Iraq.

We must empower the new civilian government of Pakistan to defeat radicalism with greater support for development, health, and education.

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