WASHINGTON - US Democratic presidential hopeful, who has now fallen behind his Republic rival John McCain in polls, said Wednesday that the United States could not succeed in Afghanistan as long as there was a safe-haven for terrorists in Pakistan. Noting the resignation of President Pervez Musharraf, Obama advocated tripling nonmilitary aid to Pakistan while making sure military aid is targeted to fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda. He called the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan "the central front in the war on terrorism," where the Taliban is resurgent and Osama bin Laden is believed to be hiding. "As commander-in-chief, I will have no greater priority than taking out these terrorists who threaten America and finishing the job," the Illinois Senator said during his address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Orlando. In response, the McCain campaign reiterated its argument that Obama lacked experience in foreign affairs. "The American people know that John McCain will hunt down terrorists wherever they are, and have a choice between strength and experience versus Barack Obama's rhetoric and theatrics," spokesman Tucker Bounds said. In stepping his rhetoric on the war Afghanistan, Obama said, "We cannot succeed in Afghanistan or secure America as long as there is a terrorist safe-haven in northwest Pakistan. A year ago, I said that we must take action against bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights and Pakistan cannot or will not act. "McCain criticised me and claimed I was for 'bombing our ally'. He refused to join my call to take out Laden across the Afghan border and instead spent years backing a dictator in Pakistan who failed to serve the interests of his own people," he added. "The departure of President Musharraf has given the US an opportunity to move away from a foreign policy focused on one person to a 'Pakistan Policy'", Obama said. "I've co-sponsored a bill to triple non-military aid to the Pakistani people, while ensuring that the military assistance we do provide is used to take the fight to the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the tribal regions of Pakistan. "Ending the war in Iraq will allow us to invest in America, to strengthen our military, and to finish the fight against Al Qaida and the Taliban in Pak-Afghan border region. This is the central front in the war on terrorism," he said. "With his overwhelming focus on Iraq, McCain argued that we could just 'muddle through' in Afghanistan, and only came around to supporting my call for more troops last month. "I've called for at least two additional US combat brigades and an additional $ 1 billion in non-military assistance for Afghanistan, with a demand for more action from its government," he said.