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Not winning the war in Afghanistan too risky for US: McCain

Senior Republican Senator John McCain said the US must win the war against terrorism in Afghanistan to ensure America's safety and security.

world Updated: Feb 26, 2009 12:43 IST

Senior Republican Senator John McCain, who was the party's presidential candidate in November elections, said the US must win the war against terrorism in Afghanistan to ensure America's safety and security.

"We must win the war in Afghanistan. The alternative is to risk that country's return to its previous function as a terrorist sanctuary, from which Al Qaeda could train and plan attacks against America," McCain said yesterday at the prestigious American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based think tank.

Delivering a major foreign policy speech on Afghanistan, McCain said not winning the war in Afghanistan would constitute an historic success for the jihadist movement.

"It would severely damage American standing and credibility in a region that already doubts our resolve, and threaten the future of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation," he said in his speech, his first one on Afghanistan after the November presidential elections, which he lost to Barack Obama.

"A terrorist sanctuary in Afghanistan would encourage and enable Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups to destabilise neighbouring countries," he said.