ABC News’ Rick Klein (@rickklein) reports: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is issuing a blunt warning to President Obama regarding his future course in Afghanistan, saying that the troop withdrawal he’s set to begin needs to be more substantial than the few thousand level that’s been discussed publicly.
“No, I don’t think that is enough,” Pelosi told ABC’s Jonathan Karl in a “Subway Series” interview we showcased on ABC’s “Top Line” today. “I think the transition from military to civilian is going to be in the interest of our security, that it reduces the number of military who have to be there at risk, it reduces the amount of money by like 10-fold — if you spent $10 billion on civilian effort, you probably will get more security than $120 billion a year, which is what we are spending on the military effort. It doesn’t mean you completely eliminate the military effort.”
Asked how much of a troop withdrawal should commence in July, she said: “We will see what the president proposes. But it will have to be something more substantial than we have heard so far, which is a few thousand troops.”
Add to those comments several uncomfortably close House votes on both Afghanistan and Libya, and it’s clear that leading Democrats are sending a message to the Obama White House over foreign policy and national security.
“We just had a vote last week in Congress which was very interesting,” Pelosi said. “We came six votes short of saying let’s sit down and work together to plan the withdrawal of these troops [from Afghanistan].”
Pelosi also talked about her optimism going into 2012, the Medicare debate, and the improving health of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.
Watch the full “Top Line” segment with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi HERE.