The Corner

McCain and the War

First, on the question of whether he would have launched it in the first place: Don’t forget McCain’s commitment to the democratization project, which predates Bush’s commitment to it. (See, for instance, McCain’s 2000 Republican convention speech, which I criticized at the time and still find mildly alarming.)

Second, it is not true that McCain advocated only an increase in troop levels. He also wanted a new strategy, in which counterinsurgency led to increased security and thus led to political progress (we had instead sought political progress as a way of increasing security). He was calling for that beginning at least in November 2003–just a few months after the initial invasion.

Third, I understand why some Cornerites think that McCain is “bad on intelligence,” but let’s not forget that the surge (including both new troops and a new strategy) have yielded a lot of information about our enemies.

Update: Hadn’t seen the 5:04 post, obviously. 

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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