McCain's mixed signals on foreign policy





Sen. John McCain is well-known for scorching denunciations of Democrats, who he says would raise the "white flag of surrender" by cutting off funds for U.S. troops in Iraq.

But 15 years ago, it was McCain himself who startled colleagues by proposing to cut off money for a struggling and embattled U.S. force in another perilous place: Somalia.

On the campaign trail today, McCain is seen as an unyielding hawk. But before his first presidential run in 2000, he declared he would work with the Democratic Party's brain trust to devise his foreign policy.

And while he now describes himself as a "foot soldier in the Reagan revolution," he infuriated Republicans as a freshman congressman in 1983 by trying to thwart President Reagan's deployment of troops in Lebanon.

The presumptive GOP nominee for president, McCain -- who leads a congressional delegation to Europe and the Middle East this week -- has adopted a surprising diversity of views on foreign policy issues during his 25 years in Congress. It is a pattern that brings uncertainty to the path he would take if elected.

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