Obama vs McCain in Afghanistan

Afghanistan must become “the central front” in the war on terror, Barack Obama said Sunday in the Afghan capital, sharpening his policy clash with John McCain over whether the war in Iraq has been a distraction from that effort.

Obama has pledged to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan and to focus more on terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan.

“We have to understand that the situation is precarious and urgent, and I believe this has to be the central focus, the central front, in the battle against terrorism,” Obama said in an interview with CBS News.

In a nearly two-hour lunch with President Hamid Karzai and other top Afghan officials, Obama “conveyed that he is committed to supporting Afghanistan and to continuing the war against terrorism with vigor,” said Karzai’s spokesman, Homayun Hamidzada, who did not comment directly on Obama’s proposed strategy in Afghanistan.

Obama also had breakfast with U.S. troops in Kabul and met privately with U.S. military leaders before heading for Iraq.

U.S. Senator Barack Obama and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan walking at the presidential palace in Kabul on Sunday. (Afghanistan Presidential Palace, via Reuters)

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