Sen. Mitch McConnell said the United States should stay on the offensive against Al-Qaida in Iraq as long as the terrorist group has a foothold there.
McConnell also ridiculed a proposed troop withdrawal from Iraq as a surrender. The Republican senate minority leader insists that a troop pullout would make the United States more vulnerable to another Al-Qaida attack.
McConnell gave his comments amid a looming showdown between President Bush and the Democratic-controlled Congress on the Iraq war.
The House and Senate are poised to vote on a war-funding bill that would order troops to begin coming home by October f1, 2007.
A group advocating a troop withdrawal from Iraq recently aired a television ad in Kentucky that criticized McConnell for backing Bush's war policies.