NEW YORK - With scepticism on the war in Afghanistan growing among Democrats, a key senator has said the United States must speed training and equipping of Afghan security forces before increasing US combat troops in the strife-torn country. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, made his comments in a telephone interview with The New York Times, which the newspaper published on Friday. I just think we should hold off on a commitment to send more combat troops until these additional steps to strengthen the Afghan security forces are put in motion, Levin said. The Times said his sentiments reflect doubts the Obama administration confronts as it ponders whether to increase its commitment in Afghanistan amid declining public support at home and concerns among US commanders on the ground. Levin said he had shared his concerns with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday lawmakers would oppose any request for more troops from General Stanley McChrystal. I dont think there is a great deal of support for sending more troops to Afghanistan in the country or in Congress, Pelosi told reporters. The White House, the Times said, has indicated Obama might not decide for weeks or longer whether to send more troops to Afghanistan. Administration officials want to review the effectiveness of the most recent US troop increase, to an all-time high of 68,000.