McCain: US Should Consider Leaving Afghanistan

Long-Standing Hawk Sings a Different Tune 11 Years In

If you live long enough, you’re liable to see anything. Today, we saw Sen. John McCain (R – AZ), who for the past 11 years has been the gold standard of hawkishness on the Afghan occupation, a tireless support of escalation upon escalation, finally raise the prospect of leaving.

“I think all options ought to be considered, including whether we have to just withdraw early, rather than have a continued bloodletting that won’t succeed,” McCain said in surprise comments today.

McCain’s comments reflect a growing weariness of the occupation, particularly as the growing number of green-on-blue attacks force the US to halt the training missions that for the past decade were supposed to be the ticket to victory.

Despite McCain’s shift, both President Barack Obama and his opponent in November, Mitt Romney, remain roughly identical in their positions on Afghanistan, which is to stay the course.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.