WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain, who visited Iraq last week, said Tuesday the increase of U.S. forces in Baghdad and elsewhere in the country is showing signs of progress and pleaded for his fellow senators not to require they pull out until their goals have been achieved.
Departure now would "embolden radical Islamists around the world," he said during a speech on the Senate floor. "Withdrawal must grow out of a political solution, not the other way around."
It would also "invite further Iranian influence" in the region, which could lead to spiraling oil prices and genocide, he said.
"If we pack up and leave, the war doesn't end, it merely gets harder," he said.
More sheiks are siding with coalition forces against al Qaeda commanders, sectarian violence has diminished since January, and locals are increasingly giving tips to coalition forces about planned attacks, the Republican presidential candidate said.
Though there is no guarantee that U.S. forces will wind up achieving their goals, the senator from Arizona said, "you can be sure that should the U.S. Senate seek to legislate an end to the strategy as it is just beginning, then we will fail for certain."
McCain said Henry Kissinger, who played a key role in shaping U.S. foreign policy during the Vietnam War, was correct in saying that a "precipitous" withdrawal from Iraq "would produce a disaster, one that would not end the war, but shift it to other areas, like Lebanon, Jordan or Saudi Arabia."