Optimism from Sen. John McCain: 'I'm coming back'

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Senator John McCain sounded optimistic as he spoke out about his fight against an aggressive form of brain cancer.

"I feel good. I have plenty of energy," he said.

McCain went live on Facebook Wednesday from his Phoenix office, talking about his health care vote and his brain cancer treatment.

"This is a rough disease, let's be very honest about it; straightforward," he said. "I have to beat it. Fortunately, they found it early and treatment is going extremely well."

"I'm coming back."

 The senator was very open and honest about his health saying, he still feels good.

"This is a very malicious disease," he said. "But I've had other challenges in my time as well. And I don't mean to be repetitious, but to my Democrat friends and some of my Republic friends, I'm coming back."

The senator went on to thank everyone for their good wishes and for their support.

[WATCH McCain's full Facebook live here]

Meantime, the next day, McCain unveiled his own strategy for the US in Afghanistan — a step he says he's taking because President Donald Trump's administration isn't coming up with one. 

McCain's Afghan strategy includes adding more US troops for counter terrorism missions, increasing US air power to aid Afghan forces and providing the US military with broader authority to target enemy forces including the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Al Qaeda and ISIS.

The Arizona Republican also would have the US military advising Afghan forces at the Kandak, or battalion level, which is about 600 troops.

"We must face facts: we are losing in Afghanistan and time is of the essence if we intend to turn the tide," McCain said in a statement. "We need an integrated civil-military approach to bolster U.S. counter terrorism efforts, strengthen the capability and capacity of the Afghan government and security forces, and intensify diplomatic efforts to facilitate a negotiated peace process in Afghanistan in cooperation with regional partners."

McCain wants the US to enter into an agreement with the Afghan government for an enduring US counter terrorism presence in Afghanistan, and he wants to put more pressure on Pakistan to stop providing sanctuaries to the Taliban and Haqqani Network.

The goal, he says, is to create security conditions in the country that would bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.

McCain has repeatedly criticized Trump and his national security team for months for failing to come up with a strategy for Afghanistan. The Trump White House has been divided into two factions, with national security adviser H.R. McMaster seeking to bolster US troops there, and Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon opposing additional US forces.

McCain plans to return to the Senate next month so the bill can be debated on the floor.

McCain's amendment is a "sense of Congress" provision, which means it would not force the Trump administration to take any action. But if it's adopted in the bill, it would provide a symbolic marker that Congress wants an enduring US counter terrorism presence in Afghanistan.

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