John McCain thinks he can end the Iraq war and bring most troops home within his first term as president, he says in the text of a speech, obtained by the Los Angeles Times, to be delivered this morning. McCain’s doesn't acknowledge a policy change, but includes a list of what he expects to accomplish in his first term: “By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly."
He also envisions that the Iraq war has been won, civil war prevented, al-Qaeda in Iraq defeated, militias disbanded, and Iraq as a functioning democracy. McCain once pounced on Mitt Romney for even suggesting a timetable for ending the US combat role in Iraq, but now he seems eager to show America a light at the end of the tunnel, and deflect Democrat attacks that he is a Bush rerun. In the new speech, he envisions American troops maintaining a small, non-combat presence in Iraq.