Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Panetta in '07 assails troop surge in Iraq; McCain chastises Panetta during Senate hearing

In February of 2007, Leon Panetta, then a member of the Iraq Study Group, voiced strong opposition to the U.S. troop surge in Iraq. Mr. Panetta also chastised President Bush and Vice President Cheney for authorizing the increase in troops.

During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, Sen. John McCain reminded Mr. Panetta of his opposition to the surge. McCain expressed disappointment and frustration with Panetta and the Obama administration for failing to negotiate a deal with the Iraqi government that would allow for a residual U.S. force to remain in the country [past the December 2011 dealine] to help train Iraqi troops and to ensure that Iran does not expand its influence in Iraq and in the country's military affairs.