Over the past year, the counterinsurgency strategy of General Petraeus has been based on the premise that establishing greater security in Iraq is indispensable to advancing political reconciliation and economic reconstruction; to making diplomatic progress in the region; and to preparing the Iraqi military to assume its responsibilities to defend the sovereignty of Iraq and the authority of its elected government
So the goal is to defend the sovereignty and authority of the Iraqi government.
Except, of course when it conflicts with John McCain's desire to stay as long as HE wants.
QUESTION: Let me give you a hypothetical, senator. What would or should we do if, in the post-June 30th period, a so-called sovereign Iraqi government asks us to leave, even if we are unhappy about the security situation there? I understand it's a hypothetical, but it's at least possible.
McCAIN: Well, if that scenario evolves, then I think it's obvious that we would have to leave because -- if it was an elected government of Iraq -- and we've been asked to leave other places in the world. If it were an extremist government, then I think we would have other challenges, but I don't see how we could stay when our whole emphasis and policy has been based on turning the Iraqi government over to the Iraqi people.
Yet when he needed a quote yesterday to save himself from his own past rigidity McCain called NOT on an Iraqi, but on Admiral Mullin.
Telling isn't it?