NEW YORK - Former Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain said Sunday he believed the soured US-Pakistan relationship could be normalised if the Pakistanis concerns over Washingtons commitment were addressed. Part of that (the current strains in the ties), by the way, was the result of the fact we abandoned Pakistan with the so-called Pressler Amendment some years ago, McCain told ABCs This Week news show, referring to Congressional measure which banned most economic and military assistance to Pakistan unless the President certified that the country does not possess a nuclear device. When asked did McCain see any hope in actually getting this relationship (with Pakistan) back on any kind of decent footing, he said: I do, but part of it has to do with the Pakistanis belief in the length and depth of our commitment. If they think were leaving, they have to stay in the neighbourhood, and its the toughest and most dangerous neighbourhood. If they think were willing to see it through with them, I think its much more likely well get their cooperation. AFGHANISTAN McCain also said he would support a modest withdrawal of 5,000 to 10,000 support US troops from Afghanistan in the coming months, saying the country cannot give up recent gains through a swift pullout. We abandoned Afghanistan once and we paid a very heavy price for it in the attacks of 9/11, McCain said. We do need to move into the eastern Afghanistan and finish this fight with one more season. At last Mondays debate, Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney said, Its time for us to bring our troops home as soon as we possibly can consistent with the word that comes from our generals that we can hand the country over He added, however, that he believed the US has learned some important lessons from Afghanistan. Weve learned that our troops shouldnt off and try and fight a war of independence for another nation, Romney said at the debate. Only the Afghanis can win Afghanistans independence from the Taliban. McCain disputed Romneys depiction of the war, saying, I had never heard it described that way, adding that the US military efforts should be allowed to fully succeed. I wish that candidate Romney and all others would sit down with General (David) Petraeus (US commander in Afghanistan) and understand how this counterinsurgency is working and succeeding, McCain said. For us to abandon Afghanistan to the tender mercies of the Taliban and radical extremists, I think would be repeating mistakes we made before. McCain even offered some political advice to President Barack Obama, saying continued success in Afghanistan in the next year would allow for more substantial withdrawals next summer during the 2012 election year. Suppose the surge continues to succeed and the summer of 2012 the president was able then to announce a massive withdrawal? That would be very helpful to the president politically, McCain said. I always try to help him as much as I can politically. ISOLATIONISM McCain also took aim at his party for what he called its growing movement towards isolationism, chastising the current Republican presidential field for not supporting US military intervention in Libya and calling for speedy troop withdrawals from Afghanistan. This is isolationism. Theres always been an isolation strain in the Republican party, that Pat Buchanan wing of our party, he said. But now it seems to have moved more center stage. At the first major Republican presidential primary debate in New Hampshire last week, several candidates criticised US military involvement in Libya. I wonder what Ronald Reagan would be saying today? questioned McCain, saying the isolationism is a stark departure from traditional Republican foreign policy positions. That is not the Republican party that has been willing to stand up for freedom for people for all over the world. An ABC News-Washington Post poll released last week showed that 47 per cent of respondents were not satisfied with the current Republican primary candidates. While McCain said he will not endorse any primary candidate until a nominee emerges, he said he is satisfied with the candidates currently in the field, and others who may enter in the coming weeks. Its a tough process, but Im confident that we will come up with a candidate that will be very competitive with President Obama, McCain said. But he reiterated his warning against the current Republican presidential field abandoning US oversees commitments. I do want to send a message and that is that we cannot move into an isolationist party, McCain said. We cannot repeat the lessons of the 1930s when the United States of America stood by while bad things happened in the world.