No Afghanistan Withdrawal, Obama Tells Lawmakers

But still undecided on proposed buildup
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2009 8:00 PM CDT
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., right, House Minority Leader John Boehner, center, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, left, leave the White House today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – President Obama won’t commit to sending more troops to Afghanistan, but neither will he withdraw any, he told congressional leaders in a White House meeting today that included a sharp exchange between the president and Republican Sen. John McCain. Obama wanted to “dispense with the straw man argument that this is about either doubling down or leaving Afghanistan,” sources tell the New York Times.

With the Republicans in the 30-lawmaker contingent urging an immediate surge, “time is not on our side,” McCain said, adding, “This should not be a leisurely process.” Obama replied: “John, I can assure you this won’t be leisurely. No one feels more urgency to get this right than I do.”
(Read more President Obama stories.)