More Politicians Say Afghan War 'Unwinnable'

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WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned Monday that any deadlines to get out of Afghanistan would be a mistake by allowing the Taliban and al Qaeda to claim victory.

Whether more troops are taken out or placed in Afghanistan, increasing critics now say the war on terror is unwinnable.

Afghanistan is becoming a much deadlier place as terror attacks mount on both foreign troops and civilians.

President Barack Obama is now wrestling with what to do -- prodded on by the leak of a report by his top general in Afghanistan.

It proposes America seriously increase it's commitment and number of troops in Afghanistan or risk losing the war.

"We need troops now and he said if we fail to provide that assistance now, it will be too late," Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., said.

Still, politicians are severely divided about what Obama should do.

"I do not believe the American people want to be in Afghanistan for the next 10 years, effectively nation-building," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said.

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., isn't sure America can "win over" Afghanistan.

"You have to be able to move the people that you're trying to win over toward a valid system,"Webb said. "And Afghanistan, it is questionable whether there is a valid national government."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is urging Obama move aggressively to stop a trifecta of disasters. He says if the U.S. does nothing, Iran will soon have nuclear weapons.

"If we don't reinforce Afghanistan now and turn around the military situation, the Taliban are going to take over part or all of Afghanistan," Graham said. "And if NATO doesn't jump into the fight with both feet, they're going to become a paper tiger."

"We could have three major disasters that affect our national security for years to come if we use half-measures," Graham added.

Still, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says Obama won't rush to decide.

"People should remember that the debate within the Bush administration on the surge lasted three months," Gates said.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.