Poll: Opposition to War in Afghanistan Grows to 69%
Support for the war is dwindling among Republicans and Democrats, poll finds
A new New York Times/CBS News poll shows that support for the US War in Afghanistan has reached an all-time low. The poll, conducted between March 21-25, revealed that of those surveyed, 69 percent opposed the war in Afghanistan. This is up from 53 percent just four months ago.
The opposition to the war has increased among Democrats and Republicans. Of Republicans polled, 60 percent said the war was going somewhat or very badly, compared with 40 percent in November. Among Democrats, 68 percent said the war was going somewhat or very badly, compared with 38 percent in November.
"The poll comes as the White House is weighing options for speeding up troop withdrawals and in the wake of bad news from the battlefield, including accusations that a United States Army staff sergeant killed 17 Afghan civilians and violence set off by the burning last month of Korans by American troops," the New York Times reports.
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Support for Afghan War Drops Sharply, Poll Finds (New York Times)
The survey found that more than two-thirds of those polled — 69 percent — thought that the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan. Just four months ago, 53 percent said that Americans should no longer be fighting in the conflict, more than a decade old.
The increased disillusionment was even more pronounced when respondents were asked their impressions of how the war was going. 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. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
The Times/CBS News poll was consistent with other surveys this month that showed a drop in support for the war. In a Washington Post/ABC News poll, 60 percent of respondents said the war in Afghanistan had not been worth the fighting, while 57 percent in a Pew Research Center poll said that the United States should bring home American troops as soon as possible. In a Gallup/USA Today poll, 50 percent of respondents said the United States should speed up the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Negative impressions of the war have grown among Republicans as well as Democrats, according to the Times/CBS News poll. Among Republicans, 60 percent said the war was going somewhat or very badly, compared with 40 percent in November. Among Democrats, 68 percent said the war was going somewhat or very badly, compared with 38 percent in November. But the poll found that Republicans were more likely to want to stay in Afghanistan for as long as it would take to stabilize the situation: 3 in 10 said the United States should stay, compared with 2 in 10 independents and 1 in 10 Democrats.
Republicans themselves are divided, however, over when to leave, with a plurality, 40 percent, saying the United States should withdraw earlier than the end of 2014, when under an agreement with the Afghan government all American troops are to be out of the country.
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