McCain: Al-Qaida, Taliban Must Be Seen As Partners

Sen. John McCain says Obama administration policy decisions in Afghanistan shouldn't be based on viewing the insurgent Taliban and the al-Qaida terrorist network as separate and distinct issues.

Interviewed Tuesday morning on NBC's "Today" program, the Arizona Republican said, "You can't separate the two. ... If the Taliban returns, they will work with al-Qaida. It's just a historical fact."

McCain is among a host of key congressional leaders slated to meet later Tuesday at the White House with President Barack Obama. The administration is debating what changes may be necessary in Afghan war-fighting policy amid increasing violence and a call by the U.S. commanding general for thousands of additional fighting forces.

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