CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Republican presidential candidate John McCain, comparing the U.S. effort in Iraq to military campaigns like the Normandy invasion, said Saturday the current plan is the only decent option.
The Arizona senator has criticized Democrats for failing to consider "Plan B" - or the consequences of withdrawing troops.
McCain said in an interview with The Associated Press that he is only focused on figuring out how to make the current military plan work. A new course, he said, won't be considered until the end of the year.
"I believe that General (Dwight) Eisenhower didn't have a Plan B at Normandy, and I don't think that General (Ulysses S.) Grant had a plan B when he decided to take Richmond," said McCain, referring to turning-point battles in World War II and the Civil War. "I know of a number of other options - the problem is, none of them are any good."
He urged the American people to give "Plan A" a chance, noting that the full five brigades that make up the current troop buildup have not all arrived in Iraq.
Several Republicans have said that they will give the buildup until the end of the summer to work, but McCain said he is more patient.
"I have tried to discourage my Republican colleagues from saying that September is some kind of seminal moment," said McCain. "I am aware the American people are frustrated. I share that frustration. I don't think the American people are aware of the consequences of failure."
While McCain again assailed Democrats of for wanting to "retreat and abandon the battlefield," he acknowledged that as he faces political peril as the war grows increasingly unpopular.
"But if we fail in Iraq, this country's going to have a whole lot more problems than my political ambitions and future," McCain said.