I think McCain was probably right on the surge (although we'll never know for certain what might have happened if we had begun to withdraw last year), but wrong on the initial invasion. Obama was wrong on the surge but right about the invasion (although we'll never know for certain how the world would look if we'd continued (or been able) to contain rather than depose Saddam). So we're left with long-term strategy and medium term diplomacy. And there's the rub. McCain doesn't talk about "winning", then leaving. He talks about "winning", then staying.I think the first part of this is right. McCain and Obama go 1 and 1 in terms of prescience, although it would be a more interesting record if Obama hadn't been playing AA ball when he had to make the call on the invasion.
However, all of these opponents to a long-term combat presence in Iraq--albeit a small one--are going to have to explain where we garrison ground forces to protect the oil, if not in Iraq. Kuwait? Works for the southern oilfields, but how do we protect the Kirkuk fields from the Iranians--or the Syrians, for that matter? Qatar? Where do you put them? And, once you answer that question, how do you stage them back to the head of the Gulf when something bad happens?
Get over it, folks. We invaded because our strategic position in the Gulf was deteriorating--from institutional terrorism, from Saddam, from a resurgent Iran. It's the reason we'll be staying. The Gulf is the vital US interest in the world today. Only an idiot would be talking about evacuating completely.
I await eagerly Obama's final morphing to see whether he's an idiot or not.