The Washington Times - December 12, 2011, 02:52PM

Sen. John McCain labeled both President Obama and Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as having failed Monday, after the two met to mark the removal of all U.S. troops from Iraq and to chart a new course for the two countries’ relationship.

Mr. McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee whom Mr. Obama defeated in the general election, has pushed for a continued U.S. military presence in the region beyond 2011 to help cement security in the Iraq and establish it as a model for democracy in the region.


By deciding to pull out all U.S. troops, Mr. McCain said the two leaders “have failed” in their responsibility to stabilize Iraq and protect the investments both countries have made there over the last nine years by letting “domestic political considerations” trump long-term goals.

“The meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Maliki today cannot obscure the fact that both men have failed in their responsibilities with regard to our shared security interests,” Mr. McCain said in a statement.

“All of the progress that both Iraqis and Americans have made, at such painful and substantial cost, has now been put at greater risk. I hope I am wrong, but I fear I am not,” he continued. “It did not have to be this way, and the fact that it is has everything to do with a failure of vision, commitment, and leadership both in Washington and Baghdad.”