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October 12th, 2009
08:18 AM ET

McCain: Avoid 'historic' error in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain said any added military deployment in Afghanistan smaller than the 40,000 troops reportedly requested by the top U.S. commander there "would be an error of historic proportions."

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/10/11/mccain.afghanistan/art.mccain.sotu.cnn.jpg caption="Sen. John McCain talks with CNN's John King about Afghanistan, health care reform, and Sarah Palin."]

Asked whether he thought the war in Afghanistan could be won with fewer troops than Gen. Stanley McChrystal has reportedly requested, McCain said, "I do not."

The Arizona Republican, who was defeated by President Obama in the 2008 presidential election, spoke in a wide-ranging interview that aired Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

"I think the great danger now is a half-measure, sort of a - you know, try to please all ends of the political spectrum," McCain told CNN chief national correspondent John King. "And, again, I have great sympathy for the president, making the toughest decisions that presidents have to make, but I think he needs to use deliberate speed."

Disregarding requirements that have been "laid out and agreed to" by Central Command head Gen. David Petraeus and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen "would be an error of historic proportions," McCain said when asked whether 10,000 or 20,000 additional troops in Afghanistan would suffice.

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Filed under: Afghanistan
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Bernice

    Who gives a crap what McCain has to say..There has to be a lot of dumb folks in Arizona to put up with him!!
    The "Error of historic proportions" has already happened..ON HIS WATCH & THE REST OF THE DUMB REPUBS..It's truly amazing how they are acting about the debt...If our country had all the money that spent in the wars the repubs created..We'd have the best healthcare in the world..

    October 13, 2009 at 7:31 am |
  2. Willow, Iowa

    McCain is not our President, he is not sitting in the Oval Office multi tasking many different problems that the PResident inherited. McCain, I believe, is still fighting the Vietnam war, in his head. He is ready to attack at any time. He doesn't want to slow down, or stop. He wants to fight a war, everywhere. He even was upset at Spain, saying he would not talk with their President!

    People that go through unbelievable horrors during wars, tend to want revenge. And I think that is what McCain is wanting to do. "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran."

    October 12, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  3. ronvan

    Honor his service, but after that I personally find it hard to support anything that McCain says. But with that said I must agree that if we are not going to leave Iraq & Afganistan then we need to quit "playing around", using the blood and service of our military, and send in EVERYONE, to put an end to this mess. But again, it would only last as long as we were there, so where does it end, what are the goals?
    POLITICAL wars/conflicts are always deadly for our military!

    October 12, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  4. Pauly

    “I think the great danger now is a half-measure, sort of a — you know, try to please all ends of the political spectrum,” McCain told CNN chief national correspondent John King. You mean like the war in Afghanistan was ignored for the 1st 71/2 years under the last administration? An error of historic proportions was avoided when you lost the election. You have always been for war sir but have consistently voted against funding for the VA & other Veteran programs, as your Repub colleagues have.

    October 12, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  5. Bernadette Loesch

    Sen. McCain lost the electoin. Why are we still asking his opinion. He is of a mind that we need to continue to send troops overseas to kill and be killed. All wrong!

    October 12, 2009 at 8:25 am |