McCain troubled by Afghan pullout target date

AP News
Posted: Dec 06, 2009 10:29 AM

Sen. John McCain says President Barack Obama's announcement that U.S. troops will begin to leave Afghanistan in July 2011 sends the wrong message to the Taliban and has confused countries in the region.

The Arizona Republican says the U.S. can make significant progress in Afghanistan in the next 12 months to 18 months. But he says the U.S. should be signaling that it will pull its troops from that country once it has won and broken the Taliban's will.

McCain says that by setting a date for beginning a withdrawal, Obama has forced Pakistan and other countries in the area to wonder how supportive they can be of the U.S. effort, since they must consider what would happen after American forces are gone.

McCain spoke on NBC's "Meet the Press."