McCain says troop increase in Afghanistan needed
Republican Senator John McCain is clashing with Democratic Senator Carl Levin over Levin’s comments that he does not want to send additional troops to Afghanistan.
McCain, the ranking minority member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told Reuters a surge is needed like was done in Iraq and that Levin’s recommendations remind him of how then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tried to fight the Iraq war — “He thought that we could win on the cheap and at one point the entire Iraqi army collapsed,” McCain said.
“So in all due respect to Senator Levin and the others, we have to have a significant troop increase, otherwise we’re going to lose.”
McCain also took a dim view of the Obama administration’s lengthy deliberations on the issue, calling it “slow-rolling the whole issue.”
As for White House spokesman Robert Gibbs’ comment that no decision should be expected for “many, many weeks,” McCain called that “kicking the can down the road.”
“And they’re doing a disservice to the brave men and women who are there now, because right now we’re not winning and therefore we are losing. And we are putting Americans in harm’s way without a strategy for victory,” he said.
What about polls saying Americans have doubts about the Afghanistan war?
“I understand their fatigue and I understood their fatigue before we changed the strategy in Iraq and we can win if we stay the course and we cannot afford to lose,” he said.
Photo credit: Reuters/stringer Afghanistan (McCain at Kabul airport in August)