And Why Are We in Afghanistan?
August 20, 2009
The DFHs have convinced the nation about another misguided war.
A majority of Americans now see the war in Afghanistan as not worth fighting and just a quarter say more U.S. troops should be sent to the country, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Most have confidence in the ability of the United States to meet its primary goals -- defeating the Taliban, facilitating effective economic development and molding an honest and effective Afghan government -- but very few say Thursday's elections there are likely to produce such a government.
When it comes to the baseline question, 42 percent of Americans say the U.S. is winning in Afghanistan; about as many, 36 percent, say it is losing the fight. The new poll comes amid widespread speculation that the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, will request more troops for his stepped-up effort to root the Taliban from Afghan towns and villages. That is a position that gets the backing of 24 percent of those polled, while nearly twice as many, 45 percent, want to decrease the number of military forces there. (Most of the remainder say to keep the level about the same.)
Should President Obama embrace his general's call for even more U.S. military forces, he risks alienating some of his staunchest supporters While 60 percent of all Americans approve of how Obama has handled the situation in Afghanistan, his ratings among liberals have slipped and majorities of liberals and Democrats alike now, for the first time, solidly oppose the war and are calling for a reduction in troops. Overall, seven in 10 Democrats say the war has not been worth its costs, and fewer than one in five support an increase in troop levels. Nearly two-thirds of the most committed Democrats now feel "strongly" that the war was not worth fighting. Among moderate and conservative Democrats, a slim majority say the United States is losing in Afghanistan.