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McCain Predicts Iraq War Won by 2013 if He's Elected President


Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain says if elected, the United States will have won the war in Iraq by the end of his first term, in 2013.

During remarks Thursday in Columbus, Ohio, McCain predicted Iraq will be a functioning democracy by that time, though small bursts of violence will still occur.

He predicts the Taliban's influence in Afghanistan will be reduced, and al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden will have been captured or killed due to Pakistan's cooperation with the U.S. in successfully adapting counterinsurgency tactics in lawless tribal areas.

He also rejected partisan politics that he says has consumed Washington, and said he will ask Democrats to serve in his administration.

Also Thursday, the 600,000-member United Steelworkers union endorsed Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama, a day after he received the backing of former Democratic rival John Edwards.

Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, told a cheering crowd in Grand Rapids, Michigan Wednesday that Obama is the best candidate to heal divisions of class.

Poverty was a central issue of Edwards' campaign, which he ended in January after disappointing finishes in early nominating contests.

The endorsement gives a boost to Obama, who already has a commanding lead over rival Hillary Clinton in delegates needed to secure the nomination.

But, Clinton has vowed to press on with her campaign, hoping her landslide primary victory Tuesday in the eastern state of West Virginia will convince the Democratic Party that she is the better candidate.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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