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December 1, 2009

McCain Opposes Exit Deadline for Troops

Posted: 10:49 PM ET
By JEFF ZELENY AND CARL HULSE via The New York Times

Senator John McCain on Tuesday expressed support for the plan to send 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, but said he objected to setting a date for an exit strategy to begin as early as 2011.

“Dates for withdrawal are dictated by conditions,” Mr. McCain told reporters on Capitol Hill. “The way that you win wars is to break the enemy’s will, not to announce dates that you are leaving.”

The political difficulty President Obama faces in winning Congressional support for his proposed troop buildup in Afghanistan was evident even before he laid out his strategy.

On the one hand, a bipartisan group of House and Senate members strongly criticized the troop increase plan as a serious mistake. At the same time, senior Senate Republicans raised concerns about the prospect that the president would set a time limit on the American presence in Afghanistan.

Mr. McCain will be the leading Republican voice on the president’s strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. His concerns about setting a timetable to withdraw troops could well set the tone for Republicans. If he supports Mr. Obama’s plan, chances are that others will follow. If he doesn’t, they might not.

The military strategy appears to be “modeled on the surge in Iraq,” Mr. McCain said, which he added, “I think will succeed.” Mr. McCain said the United States “should have a goal of being out the day after tomorrow – a goal.” But not, he said, a date as specific as July 2011.

Mr. McCain, the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee, was among the members of Congress receiving a briefing from the president and vice president on Tuesday afternoon.

(Read more…)

Filed under: John McCain • President Obama


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Wayne   December 2nd, 2009 1:14 am ET

While I respect Sen Mccain, he is also the guy who suspended his campaign to rush to Washington in order to help with the non financial crises. His focus is one sided and rigid.
We have been there for years now without pressuring the Afghan gov and citizens to take control of their own country. By taking a stand and giving a time frame for my friends, our troops, to come home, the President sends a very clear signal to the world.


A. Smith, Oregon   December 2nd, 2009 1:28 am ET

As the links to Senator John McCain were made with huge foreign defense contractors, McCains creditability as someone that is sincerely concerned about the well being of the American people is totally gone.

Lots of Boeing workers remember McCain yanking the multi-billion new Air-force refueling tanker contract from them to the same foreign defense contractor that had poured millions into McCains re-election campaign.

Defense contractors stand to lose hundreds of Billions of US taxpayer dollars if America pulls out of Afghanistan and Iraq, obviously their Republican puppets are going to scream, spew and jump up and down at any direction by the White House to do so.


Judith   December 2nd, 2009 3:46 am ET

Who cares what McCain thinks.Bottom Line who cares what any of the GOPs think.No matter what President Obama does the GOPs find something to slam him about.


olga   December 2nd, 2009 4:38 am ET

Judith is correct !! ..McCain w/his 7 houses & 14 cars,,he just purchased the new Ford Fusion so now he owns 12 foreign cars & 2 US cars ..when he was campaigning he said "he did not own any foreign cars"..blah blah ..


Justacitizen   December 2nd, 2009 4:48 am ET

Give the Afghans one last chance to step up to the plate because we are, finally leaving. Glad to hear it.


Dianne   December 2nd, 2009 6:01 am ET

McCain enjoys war. He has money, health care, his children received excellent educations, he does not understand that regular Americans want the same things in their and their childrens lives. He wanted to go to war with Iran for their internal problems. He is short-sighted and still sees the 20th century world. McCain looks for any reason to not agree with President Obama. I beleive he is still very resentful. McCain you are not a maverick, you are self serving, rigid, and cannot think or reason outside of what has always been.


eJay   December 2nd, 2009 7:42 am ET

Since 2002 we did not have a plan for Afghanistan, where was McCain then.At least we have a plan now.


Art Retti   December 2nd, 2009 9:11 am ET

Being as old as McCain, I've seen America triumph over Hitler & Co, I've seen America win the cold war and I have witnessed at close range the incredible waste of money, human life and dedicated heroes in the Vietnam war.

What America needs now is to change it's mindset. America is broke. All the banks too big to fail are bust. America has an oil addiction that will make it's financial situation worst in the coming years. The greed and overspending large segments of the population have dented its moral status.

Your country is militarily and financially overextended and the decision that I personally think was subliminally forced on President Obama by the Pentagon and the military complex is, as Michael Moore says, tragic.

If America does not come to terms with its new reality, it will soon follow the British Empire into the sunset boulevard of history.


louie   December 2nd, 2009 4:07 pm ET

Dianne is correct, he /mc cain/ is resentful & jealous of Pres. Obama..with 7 houses,,where does he find his wife, that is, fi & when he's in Arizona ..he must have an opulent apt or house in Wash DC ...how did he run for Pres. IF no one 70 yrs or over can serve on a jury..??....do not like Mitt Romney or S Palin..who does the GOP have? I like Michael Bloomberg, mayor of NYC....but do not know if he's interested in the presidency..who do the Dems have other than Hill Clinton..she wants to be the Pres so badly....right now she's doing fine where she is,,did not like Condi Rice...was she secretly in love w/Bush ? ...


Dodie   December 2nd, 2009 8:06 pm ET

McCain, a decorated war veteran, even a POW who went to fight a horrific war in order to protect us. He was Epitome of high values. What happened to McCain? What happened to this man for him to move into self indulgence and forsaking the country he once protected! Very Sad!


Andrew   December 2nd, 2009 9:12 pm ET

McCain is right. You start telling them when we are beginning to leave Afghanistan. That is ridiculous.


janette tx   December 3rd, 2009 12:37 am ET

The President was damned if he did and damned if he didn't.
After listening to his generals and exploring options he took what
he had and made the best decision.You can agree or disagree
but the decision is made .Start praying and get behind him for
you can't change it.It's best to fight with him than against him.
Divided we FALL!!


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