McCain Challenges Obama on Afghan Troop Increase

(CBS)
Sen. John McCain said President Barack Obama should not hesitate to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan amid reports the president is to escalate force levels in the increasingly violent country.

"Well, first of all, many of us knew there would be increased casualties, unfortunately, as we moved into areas that are controlled by the Taliban. Second of all, the strategy is there. Admiral Mullen, the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff said that strategy was the one developed in March. The president was very strong in March as to what needed to be done," McCain said on CBS' "The Early Show" Wednesday.

Administration officials indicated this week that Mr. Obama may look to expand counterterrorism operations in Pakistan instead of pursuing the major troop increase in Afghanistan he supported in the spring.

Afghanistan has become an increasingly deadly place for U.S. troops over recent months. But McCain, who lost the presidency to Mr. Obama last fall, said abandoning the troop increase will just lead to weaker security.

"It's clear we need additional troops. And the longer we wait and delay, the more Americans will be put at risk unnecessarily."

You can watch the interview below after a report on Mr. Obama's U.N. speech: