October 28th, 2009
08:37 AM ET
4 years ago

McCain: Why we can - and must - win the war in Afghanistan

John McCain says America must win the war in Afghanistan.
John McCain says America must win the war in Afghanistan.

The following is a commentary from Sen. John McCain:

WASHINGTON (CNN) - For the first time since September 11, 2001, America is having a vigorous national debate about how to succeed in Afghanistan. This debate is entirely worth having. Whenever America sends its citizens into harm's way, it must do so with eyes wide open.

Though no veteran would ever think of himself as "pro-war," I believe that the fight in Afghanistan is critical to our national security. Our goals there are achievable and success is worth the continued sacrifice.

We must succeed in Afghanistan for many reasons, but one stands above all: the world walked away from Afghanistan once, and it descended into a cauldron of violence, hatred and human rights atrocities that served as the base for the worst terrorist attack in history against our homeland.

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Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. P Alfonso

    Stop playing games with the American people and our soldiers. We are not in Afghanistan to kill terrorist, we are in fact killing freedom fighters in their own country. Let’s bring our soldiers back from around the world to help our own freedom fighters at home get rid of the elitist corrupt politicians that are destroying our nation and stealing our liberty.

    The American people are waking up and finding the truth about the deception that we live in with the collaboration of elected officials. It is about time that you politicians begin to deliver the truth or get out of office. You can no longer fool the majority of us. Are you going to be with us or against us? If you were a real patriot, you would have been standing with us on September 12th in Washington DC.

    October 28, 2009 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  2. SLM

    Pretty hard to succeed when our commander in chief has no strategy and can't make any decisions..............too busy campaigning for his fellow Democrats on his tax payer provided jet and polluting the air. We were foolish to believe his lies of working for ALL Americans, he really meant to say working for all DEMOCRATS.

    October 28, 2009 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  3. jay in denver

    "Our goals there are achievable."

    And they are . . . ?

    It's so easy to play armchair quarterback. The bottom line is that nobody has won a "war" in Afghanistan in the last 30 years, and unless we have clear goals and a clear exit strategy, the only option at this point is to pull out completey to avoid the quagmire. The real problem is in Pakistan. Or are you like Bush, and just don't worry about bin Laden much anymore?

    October 28, 2009 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  4. Ralph

    The only thing we should be doing in Afghanistan is getting out, being there serves no purpose for the United States. If we stay for the next 50 years, that country will be what it wants to be. Our resources could and should be put to much better use. We cannot truly even give a good reason for being there.

    October 28, 2009 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  5. Jeff

    The debate about whether or not we should be there ended when we went in. Same with Iraq. It is our responsibility to finish what we started. Preferrably with as few casualties as possible and minimal cost and time spent. If we pull out now, having not finished, things would probably become worse than before.

    I know the decision to go in is debatable but don't let opinions over whether or not to go in cloud judgement of what to do once there.

    October 28, 2009 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  6. Fools and their freedoms are soon parted

    Thank you. the reason we "lost" Korea and Viet Nam:

    1. Democrats who start wars never finish them
    2. Democratic Presidents don't listen to their generals, they either fire them or disregard them
    3. We were fighting a war in a classical way instead of in the villages.
    4. We gave up

    Mc Cain is right

    October 28, 2009 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  7. diridi

    you mean pour some more money and lives in this mountain region...where these thugs are escaping through mountain...may be in pakistan, may be in India...lord does not know where they are...I think, we need to involve Indian soldiers, pakistani soldiers, etc., not American soldiers....and spend a dime...first we need to protect our own borders...and restrict immigration...and inflow into our nation...foreigners are sneaking in...on the pretext of education, medicine, and engineering...with all kind of people...wake up, caveat emptor...

    October 28, 2009 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  8. jp,michigan

    Obama stated also it was the war we need to win, not the Iraq war. But now, Obama can't make a decision as to what to do. Refuses to follow the advise of Generals or troop that are in the fight. This Is his 3 AM phone call that he has so far refused to answer and commit too.

    October 28, 2009 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  9. Mark

    I applaud you John, at least you have a vision and don't need a month to figure it out or expres it. Wake up Obama!

    October 28, 2009 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  10. Mike

    No need to worry, nobama will just apologize for the US somemore and the liberal media will eat that up and report favorably about it.

    October 28, 2009 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    We will win this war with a counter terrorism strategy, not a counter insurgency.

    October 28, 2009 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  12. Enough

    We can win it if Obama would quit dragging his feet and do what needs to be done...............it's not like there a lot of choices.

    October 28, 2009 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  13. williewanta

    Mcshame...listen, that's why you didn't win, people don't trust you, your are so high on Wars that if you would've won, we might be in WW V. Goodbye now, please go help Sara Palin with terriorist get re-elected to a PTA for Rush Lingblah or Community Organizer for FauxNoise or something.

    October 28, 2009 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  14. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    Just what America needs: reiteration of the obvious. What ever caused him to think we didn't know all that already?

    Such hubris! To believe we could do something the Russians couldn't: conquer a wasteland and the rodents which infest it. Bring democracy to the chronically poor and illiterate?

    The third world is a universe away from our own. And how can we expect to help people who won't help themselves?

    October 28, 2009 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  15. ggb

    Past Afghan history mandates our path!

    October 28, 2009 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  16. Liberal4Obama

    I cant thank god enough everyday that John McCain will never be president, he is like Bush and Cheney all rolled up into one, a one man "country" wrecking crew.

    October 28, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  17. Von Bismark-Vienna

    God has saved America and the world with the defeat of Mccain last November.The language he speaks best is that of war.

    October 28, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  18. Adalbert

    Mr. McCain is dead wrong. There is no winning in Afghanistan. After 8 years of trying, it should be clear to every one that all we are doing is wasting our valuable resources.

    October 28, 2009 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  19. Susan in NC

    John, we said you knew where Ben Laden is - when are you gonna share that with the rest of us so we can get the hell out of there where we don't belong anyway?? Liar! NO credibility and ZERO solutions!

    October 28, 2009 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  20. Rich in Az

    Nobody's listening to you Johnny boy. Go home McCain!

    October 28, 2009 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  21. B.J.Hammer

    I agree that the puplic option has taken a seriously bad rap.I do believe that anew brand name , would breathe new life in the debate,
    and new confidents and the genral puplic. I propose a new brand name. consumers choice.

    October 28, 2009 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  22. Hennessy Cognac Black, WI

    You tell 'em John... of course you want to kill as many people in Afghanistan as you think our military can and of course you want us to WIN... you just do not have a clue when it comes to defining just what there is to WIN in Afghanistan. You simply cannot use your 19th century logic (?) in a 21 century war.

    Perhaps we could capture a pile of rocks, plant the American flag in it, claim we WON and then our precious, courageous children can come home where they belong.

    Of course any military person wants to win; of course any general wants more troops; of course the military is trained to kill, kill and kill, almost anything that moves; somehow, by your logic that revenges 9/11 and makes America more secure. [You never tell us how killing everything in Afghanistan will make America more secure.]

    President Obama will soon be sending more troops to Afghanistan… what most people do not realize is that we can only deploy about 4,000 troops a month, at best, to this meat grinder, as we do not have an endless supply of courageous, innocent children to go fight to WIN a pile of rocks!

    October 28, 2009 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  23. Angie in Pa

    Sen Mccain WE HAVE BEEN THERE FOR ALMOST 9 YEARS Thanks to W and company neglecting Afghanistan its too late besides its not a war its an occupation and more of our men and woman are dying senseless PRESIDENT OBAMA END THIS THING NOW!

    October 28, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  24. Dave

    McCain does have a point, but the problem is... HOW? We have the world's greatest militaries, and we've been trying for 8 years (although for several years we took our eye off the ball more than we should have because we had an incompetent and corrupt commander-in-chief who decided Iraq was more important even though it had nothing to do with anything in the War On Terror and everything to do with lucrative contracts for his oil buddies) and so far the progress hasn't been satisfactory or permanent.

    Just saying "we must win" won't cut it; we need a workable strategy on how that can be accomplished. And so far that hasn't been forthcoming, because that's a nearly impossible country to conquer, given the terrain. It's like one big country-sized fortress.

    October 28, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  25. Connie, Indiana

    Hate to tell you McCain, it is unwinable war. I guess your next target is Iran..Hey, get some of your fellow Republicans to get all their eligible family members to sign up, go to Iraq and Afghanistan. Seems like the rich and privileged stay at home, and the ones who have no health insurance or job have to go fight "your" wars..You have lived your whole life on your Vietnam experience, you know the hell of war, but you are willing to send others to "your" war, you have learned nothing about war other how to capitialize on it.

    October 28, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
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