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McCain, Hagel spar over Iraq war surge

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Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) — who was once close with Hagel, a former GOP senator from Nebraska and fellow Vietnam War veteran — demanded a yes-or-no answer from Hagel on whether he was wrong to call the 2007 surge in Iraq a mistake.

Hagel said that he would “defer to the judgment of history,” but McCain said that wasn’t good enough. “It’s direct question — I expect a direct answer,” McCain said.

“I’m not going to give you a yes or no, I think it’s far more complicated than that,” Hagel responded.

“Let the record to show he refused to answer that question,” McCain said, adding that it might negatively effect his ultimate vote on Hagel’s confirmation.

Read more on the McCain exchange with Hagel The Hill's DEFCON blog.