McCain says Obama's 2011 departure date threatening Afghan war effort

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Washington, Dec.7 (ANI): Republican Senator John McCain has said that President Barack Obama needs to clarify his July 2011 deadline for a US departure from Afghanistan, adding that there is huge confusion on this issue.

He said a lack of clarity could dilute Pakistan's commitment to fighting the Taliban and the Afghan war effort.

The Daily Telegraph quoted McCain as saying that the mixed signals showed both the President and senior administration officials in poor light as far as explaining the timeline for the beginning of a US troop withdrawal.

"Since the President made his speech we have not had further clarification, in fact we have had further contradiction," he said.

The muddled messages, after three months of deliberations and nine top level White House meetings, has left many in Washington's foreign policy community aghast.

Mr Obama said that the 30,000 additional US troops, combined with extra Nato forces -

Whatever the explanation, doubters have argued that setting any sort of date with any degree of certainty will create an indelible expectation of a US departure in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the level of co-operation and commitment will determine the success or failure of the mission.

McCain was concerned that the Pakistanis in particular may be caused to weaken their support for the plan, and keep their options with the Taliban. (ANI)

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