U.S. presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and John McCain debated fiercely over Iraq policy in separate speeches Tuesday, but agreed on a need to shift focus to Afghanistan.
U.S. Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama (D-IL), speaks at the National Council of La Raza convention at San Diego's Convention Center July 13, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
In a major foreign policy speech delivered in Washington, Democratic Senator Obama called for a "new direction" in international relations and a change in focus from Iraq to fighting terrorism in Afghanistan.
It was only days before he leaves on a trip to Europe and the Middle East.
Republican Senator McCain, speaking in Albuquerque, N.M., said things were getting worse in Afghanistan and called for a "comprehensive strategy for victory" there.
"(President) George W. Bush and John McCain don't have a strategy for success in Iraq -- they have a strategy for staying in Iraq," Obama said.
"They said we couldn't leave when violence was up, they say we can't leave when violence is down."
He accused McCain of concentrating on tactics in Iraq instead of a broader strategy to fight terrorism.
"At some point, a judgment must be made," he said. "Iraq is not going to be a perfect place, and we don't have unlimited resources to try to make it one."
Obama said McCain "has argued that the gains of the surge mean that I should change my commitment to end the war. But this argument misconstrues what is necessary to succeed in Iraq, and stubbornly ignores the facts of the broader strategic picture that we face."