The HillTube

McCain: Forces agreement needed

Afghanistan’s failure to sign a status of forces agreement would be a “huge setback” for the United States, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Monday.

He also said it would be a rehash of Iraq, which refused to sign a deal and forced the withdrawal of all U.S. troops.

“That's a replay of what happened when we got out of Iraq, by not giving them a number of troops,” he said. “ In fact, it got down to so a little number, it was ridiculous.”

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Sunday said if Afghanistan doesn't sign a deal, all U.S. troops might leave because of a lack of security.

ADVERTISEMENT
“But that's — that's a huge setback for the United States of America,” McCain said on CBS’s “This Morning.” “It not only hurts Afghanistan, but we still haven't told the Congress and the Afghans how many troops we want to leave behind and doing what.”

The Defense Department had pressed for a deal by the end of the year, but said last week it will have until February or March to come to a status of forces agreement with NATO and Afghanistan.

Tribal leaders have signed onto a deal, but President Hamid Karzai has refused.

Read more from The Hill.