McCain clashes with Panetta over U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq
November 15th, 2011
12:33 PM ET
2 years ago

McCain clashes with Panetta over U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq

Washington (CNN) – Deep disagreements surfaced on Capitol Hill Tuesday over whether the United States has moved too quickly to withdraw troops from Iraq.

The Obama administration will withdraw all U.S. military personnel by the end of the year, after negotiations with Iraq broke down last month over leaving behind a small force for training and security. Some 30,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq now, and only a small number of U.S. military will remain behind, attached to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

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Filed under: Congress • Department of Defense • Iraq • John McCain • Leon Panetta
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Al-NY,NY

    Old man McCain is talking out of both sides of his mouth. Duh Duh Duh-bya set the deadline. Obama is following it. If he had kept troops theere, all you'd hear from thr right is 'get them out now"

    November 15, 2011 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    The war that never should have been is OVER, John McCain. Deal with your war mongering rhetoric on your own time, and stop stirring the vitriolic hate and dissension, K?

    November 15, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. Robert jay

    McCain doesn't understand foreign policy which he has proven many times with the positions he has taken regarding it – Just because he has fought in a war does not make him a war expert. Just becuase you ride on an airplane does not make you a pilot! Lets not foregt we should never have been in Iraq in the first palce and the resons given for being there at all have not born any fruit. Mcain supported this blunder from day one ! So what value is Mcains opinion?

    November 15, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. Democrat Party - leftist "progressive" socialist communist losers hellbent on destroying the USA

    So if Iraq goes up in flames will Obama blame it on Bush??? It only makes sense since Obama doesn't take responsibility for anything he messes up, including the economy.

    November 15, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. Voice of Reason

    McCain's knee-jerk military hair-trigger scares the hek out of me, and should scare the heck out of anyone who understands what a problem these adventurous warmongering tendancies are.

    He needs to look up from watching old Chuck Norris and Charles Bronson movies long enough to realize that violence isnt **ALWAYS** the answer. He's like the Jean-Claude VanDamme of the Senate (I had to compare him to a fruity Belgian just to really cheese off the right-wingers out there).

    November 15, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. Bill

    Too quickly??? We have been there almost ten years. McCain needs to retire.

    November 15, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Sen. McCain needs to stop and think about what he is actually saying. The Iraqis have asked us to leave their country. Period. Sen. McCain is advocating that we ignore our written agreements and break the promise that GWB made to the Iraqis that if we were asked to leave, then we would leave. A message that McCain agreed with at the time.

    November 15, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Ten years in a republican unnecessary war that we cannot afford, and McSurge wants to stay there. My God, our role in World War II lasted from 1941 to 1945. I think McCain and his buddies, Lieberman and Lindsay Graham should stay there.

    November 15, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    John will say anything to try to embarrass 'that one.'

    November 15, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  10. SecedingfromTexas

    How would McCain deal with those five very important words: No Immunity for our Troops!
    I still don't know why we have the largest, most expensive Embassay in the World sitting in Iraq.

    November 15, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. stevie

    Obama is setting up his great Middle East power vaccuum that will result in war. Good job, Barry Hussein.

    November 15, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. Keith in Austin

    Broadcasting our withdrawal and going against the recommendations from our military leaders on the ground for political expediency is wrong. As a Veteran, I am against war but am sickened that the real motivation in Obama's decision is the coming election. Unfortunately, I fear that once we're gone, Al Queda and The Taliban will re- emerge in full force and thousands of our Sons and Daughters will have died in vane.

    November 15, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. Mama Judy

    The longest war ever..I want to see the GOP give all this "NEW MONEY" needed to help these troops when they return...or will they turn their back like they did Vietnam Vets....easy to talk war if it not their sons, daughter, husbands and wives hurting with little or no support........ give them a break...bring them home ...

    November 15, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. MTATL67

    Just like McCain and Sarah Palin are still friends. Pure politics. It is clear that these anti-withdrawal people haven’t lost a loved one over there. I guess it's acceptable as long as it is someone else's mother, father, brother or sister that's getting killed. They need to take some time and talk to their neighbor who lost a loved one.

    November 15, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. Blake

    If Iraq goes up in flames, it IS BUSH'S FALT! He started it in the first place....

    November 15, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I do not recall any current tea bagger or republican take responsibility for the economic mess that the Bush/republicans left Obama. I cannot recall any Bush/teabagger republican taking responsibility for for doubling the national debt, the loss of 8 million jobs in Bush's last three years, the bank bail outs, the unfunded programs, the unfunded war, and the continued war on the middle class. Republicans are good at blaming others, but like most 4th graders, refuse to step up.

    November 15, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  17. BeStill

    President Obama will be re –elected in 2012. The next world leader on stage will be the Anti-Christ in 2016. Where is Ariel Sharon? He has a message for President Obama to give to us Gentiles who will understand the meaning of it.

    November 15, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. Jaywing

    Let's see - under George W. and rhe GOP hard right winger-warmongers, and based solely on admitted lies, we attacked and destroyed Iraq's government, military, infrastructure, culture, and killed 100,000+ Iraqi citizens and 5000 of our solders. The country is divided and in shambles, and ripe for the picking by Iran and Islamic radicals. Yet, poor old John McCain wants us to stay and do.... what? Continue to mess Iraq up even more? The war that should have never been fought is over. If Iraq goes up in flames, then yes indeed, we should blame Bush and all those who thought invading Iraq (innocent of anything to do with 9/11) was a good idea. This will go down in history as America's most stupid adventure of the 21st century and we're only 11 years in.

    November 15, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  19. a7m

    Republicans and McCain want to pay less taxes while running expensive wars. Freaking hypocrites.

    November 15, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. rs

    Hello- this one is a no brainer. Iraq was a war that shouldn't have happened. The wee bit of personal revenge (getting Saddam) cost too much in American lives, material and treasure, never mind the awful cost to Iraq- massive infrastructure damage, 120,000 civilian casualties, and 2 million refugees, plus touching off a civil war.
    We can't leave too soon.

    November 15, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. ddr

    Hey D.P. – I hope it doesn't but if it does he should blame Bush. And Cheney. They lied to get us in Iraq. We should have never been there.

    November 15, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. Country Above Parties

    Bush/Chaney lied, thousands of our soldiers died, trillions got wasted, got us in a deep ditch which we are still climbing out of and this senile old fool who only contribution was giving us Sarah Palin is complaining... go figure!

    November 15, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Ya' know. I was just wonderin'. When GWB spoke about job creation arising from his economic policies, do you think he might have been talking about jobs in the armed forces?

    November 15, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  24. GI Joe

    Bush should never have started that war - so in effect, it is his fault that so many of our troops have been killed there, that so much money has been spent there, and because Iraq will not give our soldiers immunity, they WILL come home.

    If they don't want to fight their own wars, then they don't want the freedom.

    November 15, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |