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Poll: Public Turns Negative on U.S. Involvement in Afghanistan

3 years ago
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Support for continued U.S. involvement in Afghanistan has taken a sharply negative turn with 50 percent of Americans saying the U.S. should not be involved while 44 percent believe fighting the war is the right thing to do, according to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted Nov. 8-15. Six percent were undecided.

In all of Quinnipiac's previous polls on the question this year, at least a plurality of Americans thought U.S. involvement was the right thing. In September, 49 percent said that compared to 41 percent who believed the U.S. shouldn't be involved, with 10 percent undecided. As recently as April, the public supported U.S. involvement by a 56 percent to 36 percent margin, with 8 percent undecided.

Quinnipiac did not delve into the reasons for the increasingly negative view of involvement in Afghanistan. Despite a year in which there have been reports of U.S. military progress, the news has also been full of stories about corruption in the Afghan government and the sometimes hostile stance that Afghan leader Hamid Karzai has taken towards U.S. officials.

AfghanistanPresident Obama's fellow Democrats say the U.S. shouldn't be involved by a 52 percent to 33 percent margin, with 5 percent undecided, and independents share that view by 54 percent to 40 percent, with 6 percent undecided.

Republicans back U.S. involvement as the right thing by 64 percent to 31 percent, with 6 percent undecided, although GOP critics have questioned Obama's specific policies, such as setting a timetable for the start of withdrawal.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll conducted Nov. 11-15 asked specifically about whether those surveyed approved or disapproved of President Obama's Afghanistan policy, as opposed to the general question about U.S. involvement in the war. Forty-eight percent approved compared to 41 percent who did not, with 8 percent undecided. Last March, 53 percent approved and 35 percent disapproved, with 12 percent undecided.

"President Barack Obama is in somewhat of a tenuous position politically on the Afghan war," said Quinnipiac's Peter Brown. "If Republicans should desert him, he'd find himself with a very unpopular war on his hands."

In the Quinnipiac survey, military households were divided on the U.S. commitment, with 49 percent supporting it, 47 percent opposed and 5 percent undecided.

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Filed Under: Afghanistan, Poll Watch
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6 Comments

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ghawk55

Let's just go ahead and ramp up for a war with every country that is considered a state sponsor of terror. We'll mobilize the country and make it the #1 priority. As George Wallace use to say "no more ***** footing around". If we're not going to do that then let's withdraw all troops and foriegn aid to the rest of the world. No point in borrowing money from other contries to give to folks that either won't help us or flat out hate us!

November 20 2010 at 9:30 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
jackjack5

The problem I have with those who don't support the war in Afghanistan is that they don't present a workable solution to protect the US and its allies from Afghanistan becoming a haven for international terrorism. It is a war we cannot afford to lose. The problem with the opinion polls is that the Taliban and Al Queda read them to and it only strengthens their resolve to wait out NATO knowing that the weak kneed Westerners don't have the character or the guts to see it through. We pull out early and all the sacrifices made by our military will be for nothing.

November 19 2010 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Worldwand

Certainly our reasons for being in Afghanistan are more valid than those for Iraq. But when we have lost so many thousands of soldiers in several ill-conceived wars, generally with no decisive result in our favor, I am reluctant to continue support for the Afghanistan debacle unless the American electorate is willing and economicaly able to pour in sufficient military resouces to win a guaranteed sustainable result. Without the will to win we are wasting our time, our troop's lives and our treasury to no acceptable end.

November 18 2010 at 11:12 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
ajcook111

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are utter disasters. They create many more terrorists than they eliminate. When will humanity learn that war is not the answer?

November 18 2010 at 3:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ha94s10ss

Bring the troops home now!

November 18 2010 at 12:03 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
tevroc143

We cannot afford to have standing armies fighting terrorism. After two wars, we have more than enough proof that this is not the method which works or should be used. Bring the troops home now and let Big Oil hire their own private army to protect their interest. As for fighting terrorism, only by infiltration to the various groups will we win. Like the FBI infiltrated the KKK in the 1960's, such methods should be used to fight terrorism. After all, the KKK were terrorist bombing Black Churches and Jewish synagogues. The FBI brought them down and the terrorists of today can be taking down as well. Just not with a standing army costing trillions.

November 18 2010 at 11:58 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
manfrommontana

It's been long enough. Either NAPALM the entire country to eliminate their hiding places and wipe them out or get out. Enough chasing shadows through the foliage and accomplishing nothing.

November 18 2010 at 7:10 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

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