Obama: Afghanistan 'a war that we have to win,' McCain: Use Iraq strategies in Afghanistan - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Obama: Afghanistan 'a war that we have to win,' McCain: Use Iraq strategies in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON. - Barack Obama says overall U.S. interests have been hurt rather than helped by the Bush administration's decision to increase troop strength in Iraq 18 months ago.
     
He's vowing to stick by his plan to withdraw combat troops within 16 months of becoming president.
     
Obama said his White House rival, John McCain, "has argued that the gains of the surge mean that I should change my commitment to end the war."
     
But, Obama said, "this argument misconstrues what is necessary to succeed in Iraq, and stubbornly ignores the facts of the broader strategic picture that we face."
     
In a speech delivered in advance of an overseas trip, Obama said fighting al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan would be his top priority.

Meanhwhile, John McCain says the troop increase strategies used in Iraq should also be applied to Afghanistan, and that he knows more than Barack Obama about "how to win wars."
     
McCain has told a town hall crowd in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that the U.S. military effort in Iraq is working. He argues a similar approach - more troops, more counterinsurgency programs, and more coherent military organization would arrest the growing violence in Afghanistan.
     
The Republican nominee-to-be charges his Democratic opponent, Obama, is offering misguided military plans for the region before he's even set foot in the country.
     
McCain says more U.S. troops should be sent to Afghanistan, particularly the southern part of the country where the Taliban is strongest.



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