By Daniel Strauss - 12/12/11 06:33 PM EST
“It did not have to be this way, and the fact that it is has everything to do with a failure of vision, commitment, and leadership both in Washington and Baghdad," he said.
Obama and Vice President Biden held a bilateral meeting with Maliki in the Oval Office Monday to discuss the removal of U.S. troops.
McCain, the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, has been sharply critical of Obama’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year. The end of U.S. involvement was negotiated between Iraq and the Bush administration in 2008 and was affirmed by Obama this fall.
"All of the progress that both Iraqis and Americans have made, at such painful and substantial cost, has now been put at greater risk,” McCain said.
Obama on Monday vowed that the U.S. would remain a strong military partner and ally of Iraq.
"We will be working to set up effective military to military ties that are no different than ties with countries we have in the region and around the world," Obama said.