Afghanistan Push Meets Resistance —From Democrats

Levin, Pelosi object to troop buildup; Obama weighs options
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 11, 2009 9:14 AM CDT
Afghan army soldiers and police tour the site where villagers reportedly died when American jets bombed fuel tankers hijacked by the Taliban, outside Kunduz, Afghanistan, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009.   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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(Newser) – Support for the war in Afghanistan is dwindling among Democrats as President Obama mulls increasing US involvement in the region, the New York Times reports. Ahead of an expected request for more troops from the US commander in the country, the chair of the Senate armed services committee says he’s opposed to the idea until the US can more quickly build Afghanistan’s own forces.

Carl Levin holds that the Afghan Army, which aims to reach 134,000 troops by next year, should expand to 240,000 by 2012, with a simultaneous expansion of police forces. Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi predicts a struggle for the president if he looks to boost troop numbers. “I don’t think there is a great deal of support for sending more troops to Afghanistan in the country or in Congress,” the House speaker says.