Republican John McCain is pushing back against Democratic criticism that he misstated the timing of the buildup of troops ordered by President Bush in early 2007. He says parts of the new strategy began months earlier.
The Arizona senator has told reporters during a stop at a super market in Bethlehem, Pa., that what the Bush administration calls "the surge" was actually "made up of a number of components." McCain says some components of the surge began before Bush ordered more U.S. troops into Iraq.
McCain says U.S. Col. Sean MacFarland started carrying out elements of a new counterinsurgency strategy as early as December 2006.