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.