Support in U.S. for Afghan War Drops Sharply, Poll Finds
Published: March 26, 2012
WASHINGTON — After a series of violent episodes and setbacks, support for the war in Afghanistan has dropped sharply among both Republicans and Democrats in recent months as increasing numbers of Americans say that the United States should not be involved in the fighting there, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
The poll found that more than two-thirds of those surveyed — 69 percent — think that the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan. That number is a significant increase from just four months ago, when 53 percent said that Americans should no longer be fighting in the conflict, which began more than a decade ago.
There were even sharper increases when respondents were asked for their impressions on the state of the war. The poll found that 68 percent thought the fighting was going “somewhat badly” or “very badly,” compared with 42 percent who had those impressions in November. The latest poll was conducted by telephone from March 21 to 25 with 986 adults nationwide.
The poll comes as the White House is weighing options for speeding up American troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and after bad news from the battlefield, including the killings of 17 Afghan civilians attributed to a United States Army staff sergeant and violence set off by the burning last month of Korans by American troops. The poll also followed a number of high-profile killings of American service members by their Afghan partners, a trend that the top American commander in Afghanistan said on Monday was likely to continue.
“It is a characteristic of this kind of warfare,” Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, said at a Pentagon news conference. When “you’re dealing with an insurgency and where you’re also growing an indigenous force which ultimately will be the principal opposition to that insurgency, the enemy’s going to do all that they can to disrupt both the counterinsurgency operations, but also disrupt the integrity of the indigenous forces that developed.”
The poll showed that across all parties, negative impressions of the war in Afghanistan were growing. Among Republicans, 54 percent said the war was going somewhat or very well in November 2011, but just 34 percent said so in the most recent New York Times/CBS News poll.
- 60% of Americans say Afghan war not worth cost: poll (alternet.org)
- Afghan War’s exit strategy (politico.com)
- U.S. Sergeant Faces 17 Counts of Murder in Afghan Killings – NYTimes.com (policyabcs.wordpress.com)
- Future War Plans Now Largely Focused On Afghan Forces (usnews.com)
- US commanders: No plan to cede Afghan war to CIA (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- U.S.: Killing of Afghans won’t alter war plans (cbsnews.com)
- Shootings further dent Americans’ support for war (goerie.com)
- Obama: Time for US to transition of Afghan war (sfgate.com)
- Obama: Time for US to transition of Afghan war (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- U.S. Public’s Support For War In Afghanistan Sinks To New Lows (thinkprogress.org)