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BREAKING 10:50am 5-15-08 John McCain Predicts Iraq War Over by 2013; Terror Threat Remains
Thursday, May 15, 2008 8:48am

ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE From CNN (By: Tom Pace, Talk of the Town) BREAKING POLITICS  10:50am 5-15-08  Republican presidential candidate John McCain today predicted the Iraq war will be over by 2013, but the terror threat will remain.  The Arizona Senator went on to say he believes Osama bin Laden will have been captured or killed. 

McCain made both statements in a speech in which he envisions the state of affairs at the end of his first term if he is elected president, according to CNN.

"What I want to do today is take a little time to describe what I would hope to have achieved at the end of my first term as president. I cannot guarantee I will have achieved these things," McCain said in his speech in Columbus, Ohio.

"By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom." McCain predicted.  

The Senator's speech as unusual -- and somewhat risky -- in that it lays out benchmarks on which he could be judged.

McCain said he believes the United States will have a smaller military presence in Iraq that will not play a direct combat role, and he predicts that al Qaeda in Iraq will be defeated.

"The Iraq War has been won. Iraq is a functioning democracy, although still suffering from the lingering effects of decades of tyranny and centuries of sectarian tension," McCain said.

"The violence in Iraq will persist, the candidate believes, but it will be "spasmodic and much reduced." But civil war will be prevented, armed militias will be disbanded, security forces will become "professional and competent" and the government will be able to impose "its authority in every province of Iraq" and properly defend its borders.

McCain said he also believes the "threat from a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan will be greatly reduced but not eliminated" and that U.S. and NATO forces will remain in the country "to help finish the job, and continue operations against the remnants of al Qaeda."

If he is elected, he said he would hope that Pakistan will work with the United States in deploying counter-insurgency tactics in the al Qaeda-laden tribal regions.

McCain envisions that Osama bin Laden, and his chief lieutenants, would be captured or killed.

"There is no longer any place in the world al Qaeda can consider a safe haven," McCain said.

He also believes that in 2013, there still will not have been a "major terrorist attack in the United

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