McCain Backs Obama Policy of Escalation in Afghanistan

Calls for Even More Troops in Helmand Province

by Jason Ditz, August 18, 2009

Senator John McCain (R – AZ), the candidate who competed with President Barack Obama in last year’s election, today jumped on board the president’s strategy of seemingly endless escalation in Afghanistan, calling for even more troops to be sent to the nation while part of a Congressional delegation to Helmand Province.

On the same pageDuring last year’s campaign, McCain attacked Obama’s escalation strategy as “naive” and “premature,” and advocated a policy of increased US control over the international forces and civilian aid, while expressing concern that President Obama’s strategy would mean failure in Iraq.

Of course, President Obama’s Iraq strategy has morphed dramatically since the campaign, when he promised to pull all troops out within 16 months. At this point, his policy of maintaining troop levels seems very similar to the plan he attacked Sen. McCain for at the time.

So the 2008 election season has come full circle, and the most hawkish position on Iraq and the most hawkish position on Afghanistan are now official policy, and Senator McCain hopes that further escalation will lead to “significantly more success” in Afghanistan. Considering the disastrous state of the war and its worsening situation by the month, it seems hard to imagine that both major party candidates have reached the identical failed position, but that is indeed the case.

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