Senator John McCain said Sunday President Barack Obama's announcement that US 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 said the US can make significant progress in Afghanistan in the next 12 to 18 months. But he said the US should be signaling that it will pull its troops from that country once it has won and broken the Taliban's will.
McCain said 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 US effort, since they must consider what would happen after American forces are gone.
McCain spoke on NBC television's "Meet the Press."