In an interview with the Army Times, Senator John McCain said, if elected president, he would expand the size of the Army and Marine Corps. “One of the major failures of the Rumsfeld era is that we didn’t expand the Army and Marine Corps.” He appeared to attribute problem in ending violence in Iraq due to lack of sufficient troops on the ground. The senator discussed strains imposed on members of the military and their families by shortened deployment after serving in Iraq. McCain believes increasing the size of our military “is something we should have done long ago. We are going to be in Afghanistan a long time, and I don’t know what other conflict might break out.” During the interview, McCain at one point indicated his belief troops could have longer deployment time in America, but also said, “i would do whatever is necessary to succeed,” even if it required shorter deployment time at home.
Senator McCain’s comments reflect his duality of feeling. On one hand, he blames the “Rumsfeld era” for military problems, but, on the other hand, refuses to cast blame on George Bush who supposedly was in charge of our government and supported Rumsfeld’s actions. McCain has certainly been an advocate of more troops in Iraq, but his failure to focus on political issues, indicates he still believes Iraq is a military rather than a political problem. There is little evidence, Senator McCain has a grasp of Middle East complexities other than thinking sending more troops will solve all problems. One is left wondering after reading his interview what are the “other conflicts” he anticipates will emerge that require sending American forces.