“I view the senator’s remarks as, at the least, uninformed about history and strategy and the challenges we face from radical Islamic extremism,” said McCain.
In his speech, Manchin said the U.S. is unwanted in Afghanistan and that the economy is unable able to bear the price of nation-building anyway.
"The truth is impossible to ignore," Manchin said. "After 10 years we face the choice of whether we are going to continue to spend tens of billions of tax dollars, not on fighting and killing al Qaeda, but by policing and building a state where the leaders seem indifferent to the difficulties of their people, and the people seem indifferent at best if not hostile to our presence.”
“Will we choose to rebuild America or Afghanistan?” asked Manchin. “In light of our nation’s fiscal perils we cannot do both.”
McCain also jabbed the freshman senator for speaking out after having spent relatively little time in Afghanistan, and suggested that Gen. David Petraeus, who supported the surge, knows more about the war in Afghanistan than Manchin.