WASHINGTON -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she sees little congressional support for boosting troop levels in Afghanistan, putting the Democratic majority in Congress on a possible collision course with the Obama administration over the future conduct of the war there.
The remarks Thursday by Pelosi (D., Calif.) make her the highest-ranking Democrat to signal opposition to the administration's handling of the Afghan war, a top national-security priority.
The remarks also underscored the increasingly complex political dynamics confronting President Barack Obama as he considers whether to send additional U.S. forces to Afghanistan.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top American commander in Kabul, is expected to formally request as many as 40,000 U.S. reinforcements this month. He and other U.S. commanders there say they believe that they need more troops to successfully implement a new counterinsurgency approach that focuses on protecting the Afghan populace from Taliban violence.
The administration handpicked Gen. McChrystal and has already signed off on the deployment of 21,000 new troops to Afghanistan, which will push U.S. troop levels there to a record 68,000 by the end of the year.
Still, Gen. McChrystal's pending request for tens of thousands of additional reinforcements will put the White House in a tough spot politically.
Support among Democratic and independent voters for the Afghan war has been evaporating for months, and a raft of recent polls has found that majorities of both groups now oppose continuing or expanding the conflict.