Kandahar key to success in Afghan war, say top US lawmaker

July 6th, 2010 - 5:44 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Washington, July 6 (ANI): The US led allied forces’ success in Afghanistan would largely depend on the foreign troops ability to secure Kandahar, the Taliban’s stronghold, top Republican Senator John McCain has said.

McCain, who recently visited the largest city in South Afghanistan, warned of a tough fight ahead for the international troops and predicted that casualties would also rise.

“The Taliban know that Kandahar is the key to success or failure,” Express.co.uk quoted McCain, as saying.

“So what happens in this operation will have a great effect on the outcome of this conflict. But I am convinced we can succeed and will succeed, and Kandahar is obviously the key area. And if succeed there, we will succeed in the rest of this struggle,” he added.

McCain, US Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, also objected to President Obama’s plan to start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan from July 2011, saying he expects great progress in the war between now and Obama’s deadline for pulling out.

“But we must not tell the enemy that we will begin leaving when we have not finished the job,” he said.

Commenting on General David Petraeus’ appointment as the Afghan war commander, McCain pointed out that there could be some changes in the rules of engagement on the battlefield with the new commander taking charge.

“Probably there will be some tweaking. We get that impression from him,” he said.

It is pertinent to mention here that former NATO commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal’s had designed war rules which prevented international troops from using heavy artillery and air power in the war.

The war regulations do not prevent US troops from calling in air support, but the emphasis is on caution and some officers fear career damage if they mistakenly call for air or heavy weapons support and kill civilians in the process. (ANI)

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