McCain: Fire Obama's Entire National Security Team

By Susan Jones | June 13, 2014 | 7:52am EDT

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) (AP File Photo)

( - In a contentious interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said President Obama should fire his entire national security team, which has been a "total failure."

"There are no good options" in Iraq right now, McCain said, as city after city falls to Islamic jihadists who plan to establish their own Islamic state stretching from Syria to Iraq.

"I don't know exactly if the air strikes right now are the answer. I'm not sure because I don't claim to be that smart, but I know there are people like Jack Keane and Gen. (David) Petraeus and others who are that smart, and I know that this team that (Obama's) got around him now ought to be fired."

McCain said he was talking about "everyone on the National Security team. They have been a total failure."

The senator mentioned that he called for former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to be fired during the Iraq war, when things weren't going so well for the United States.

McCain said the same thing that's happening now in Iraq will happen in Afghanistan if the United States does not leave a residual force behind, just as it's done in Korea, Bosnia and other places.

"We've made great sacrifice in order to stabilize the situation. And now by pulling out, we are leaving a vacuum, and all of those sacrifices will have been made in vain. And so, I'm not saying American that troops would be in danger. They would not, in a stable situation, which was the case in Iraq after the surge succeeded, and could be the case in Afghanistan as well.

"We're not talking about combat. We're talking about residual forces to keep a nation stable. And the American people would support such a thing  if it were explained to them. But I can tell you the consequences of a complete pullout of Afghanistan. They will be the same consequences that happened in Iraq. I guarantee it. Just as I guaranteed what would happen in Iraq."

McCain said it was the Obama administration that decided not to leave a residual force in Iraq after the troop surge, led by Gen. Petraeus, had stabilized the country.

"(Sens.) Lindsey Graham, Joe Lieberman, and I were in Iraq, and negotiated -- and the Kurds, (former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad) Allawi, and (current Prime Minister Nouri) al-Maliki were ready to have the residual force," McCain said.

"We came back, and I begged the administration to give them a (troop) number and a mission, and they wouldn't do it. Those are just facts. We had it won, and I predicted in 2011, when we left, that there would be failure -- and a colossal failure."

"It didn't have to happen," McCain added.

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