McCain: "Unnecessary risk" in Obama's Afghanistan plan

Scott Pelley interviews Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on President Obama's plan for Afghanistan, June 22, 2011 CBS

Just hours before President Obama is expected to announce a reduction of 33,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan by September 2012, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called the plan an "unnecessary risk." (watch at left)

In an interview with "CBS Evening News" anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley, McCain added that it is "unfortunate" the president would go against "well-known recommendations" of military leaders.

CBS News reports the president will announce the U.S. will pull 10,000 troops out of Afghanistan by the end of this year and that all 33,000 surge troops will be out by September 2012.

"I think it's an unnecessary risk number one and I do believe it's unfortunate that it's well-known that the recommendations of outgoing Secretary Defense Gates and General [David] Petraeus and other military leaders were three to five thousand withdrawal and then a large withdrawal after the next fighting season in the spring and summer of 2012," McCain said.

During debate on troop levels in Afghanistan Tuesday, McCain had a heated exchange with Sen. Joe Manchin. D-W.Va., on the Senate floor.

McCain called Manchin's comments Tuesday "uniformed about history and strategy."

In an interview Wednesday, the freshman Democratic senator told Pelley he has the "utmost respect" for McCain and "the sacrifices he's made to our country."

"He's absolutely correct- I don't have the experience he's had," Manchin said. "But what I do have, like a lot of West Virginians, is a little bit of common sense and enough is enough."

"We have a war on terror," he said. "That's what we should go back to."

Manchin told Pelley, "bringing one person home is welcome."

Watch more of the interviews with McCain and Manchin below:


Manchin: Change the mission in Afghanistan
Obama to bring 30,000 troops home by Sept. 2012
After U.S. drawdown, what's next for Afghanistan?
CBSNews.com Special Report: Afghanistan

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