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McCain explained he was there "face-to-face" and told his personal story of going to Iraq and negotiating with al-Maliki in "direct conversations" about leaving residual force in Iraq, which is standard practice he said.
McCain said Maliki had agreed with all the major players to a force of close to 20,000 but the Obama administration refused to give him a solid number of troops. After several months the United States proposed leaving only 3,000 troops. McCain said Maliki understood this would be a pointless effort not worth the political flack so he bowed out of the deal.
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