Publish dateMonday 19 March 2012 - 14:19
Story Code : 38234
McCain suggests US not to quit Afghan war
Republican Senator John McCain has suggested that Washington has no intention of leaving Afghanistan -- where it has been waging a so-called war on terror for more than a decade.
McCain, a vociferous supporter of a large and long-drawn-out US military presence in Afghanistan, told NBC television's Meet the Press program on Sunday that the occupation of Afghanistan was "succeeding" and Washington should not leave the country Press TV reported. 

He criticized US President Barack Obama for setting 2014 as the deadline for the American withdrawal.

"On a pure military, tactical standpoint, we are winning, but, what the president keeps talking about, is how quick we’re going to withdraw," McCain said.

He was answering a question about the effect of the latest killings of civilians by American troopers on the US-Afghan strategic partnership deal.

On March 11, US Sergeant Robert Bales reportedly opened fire on Afghan civilians inside their homes in the district of Panjwaii in the southern Afghanistan province of Kandahar, killing 16 of the non-combatants and injuring several others. According to a fact-finding mission set up by the Afghan parliament, at least 20 US forces were involved in the killing.

McCain claimed that the relationship between the US forces and Afghanistan "is wonderful."

After probing the circumstances and speaking to witnesses and locals, it was concluded that the crime could not have been committed by a single trooper, the head of the mission said on Wednesday. The Afghan government has also said that several US troops, not a lone one, carried out the bloodshed.

Insecurity continues to rise across Afghanistan, despite the presence there of some 130,000 US-led forces.

The United Nations announced on February 4 that 2011 was the deadliest year on record for Afghan civilians. Overall, 3,021 civilians died in the violence related to the war and 4,507 were wounded.

The figure showed that the death toll had risen by eight percent compared to the year before and was roughly double the figure for 2007.
Source : Afghan Voice Agency (AVA), Kabul
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