Pelosi warns: Expect a "serious drawdown" in Afghanistan next year

It’s cute that lefties are still threatening to cut funding for the war, knowing how that worked out three years ago vis-a-vis Iraq and assured of the fact that Congress will be much redder next year when decision time for Afghanistan comes.

Which, mind you, is not to say she’s wrong about The One ordering a “serious drawdown.”

In an exclusive interview with the Huffington Post, Pelosi made clear that while recent talk has hinted that the administration’s stated goal of a June 2011 start date for a troop drawdown may be open to change, her commitment to it remains firm.

“I think we’ll have a serious drawdown, I don’t think it’ll be, as [the president] said, turning out the lights,” said Pelosi…

The timeframe for troop presence in the country, however, depends in large part on Congress’s willingness to cut the check. And in her sit-down with the HuffPost, Pelosi hinted quite strongly that she may not have the votes to pass war appropriations without conditions attached for paring down U.S. military operations.

“I don’t know how many votes there are in the caucus, even condition-based, for the war, hands down. I just don’t. We’ll see what the shape of it is the day of the vote,” she said.

Bill Kristol’s right that Obama gave a good, surprisingly Bush-ian answer in some respects about Afghanistan when quizzed about it yesterday at the G20. But he’s still vowing to “begin a process of transition” next year, and with bad news piling up — public support flagging, McChrystal’s last progress report to NATO bleak, Karzai reportedly trying to make nice with top warlord/jihadi all-star/Pakistani proxy Sirajuddin Haqqani — realistically, nothing short of another miracle Petraeus turnaround is going to leave him eager to keep troop levels high much beyond the 2011 deadline. Hence the “obsession” with the withdrawal date: Everyone, first and foremost Pakistan and the Taliban, understands that conditions on the ground around July of next year will determine what happens to the U.S. footprint afterwards. It’s amazing that Obama would create that situation by naming a date and now be annoyed that people are treating it as something significant. Click the image to watch.