Support for Afghanistan War Hits New Low

Only 17% of Americans support the war in a new poll

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A mere 17% of Americans support the war in Afghanistan, according to a new poll, making it by one measure the most unpopular war in U.S. history.

The new low in support, in a CNN poll out Monday, comes after 52% of Americans supported the war in a 2008 CNN poll, and just 46% opposed it. By 2013, opposition had mushroomed to 82%, according to the poll. Though comparing public opinion across the decades is difficult, the support falls short of previous CNN polling on the Iraq War, and opposition to the Vietnam War next eclipsed 60% in Gallup polling.

The war in Afghanistan is the longest war in American history, at 12 years and counting. To date, over 2,300 American troops have died. A majority of Americans believe the U.S. is losing the war, with only about 33% saying America is winning.

While all remaining troops are scheduled to be pulled out of the country by December 2014, the majority of Americans want to withdraw before then. Also, despite a recent Washington Post article on a National Intelligence Estimate report that any gains made during the war in Afghanistan will likely be lost by 2017, only 25% of those polled want a continued U.S. presence after the late-2014 deadline.

The December survey of 1,035 adults nationwide has a sampling error of plus or minus 3%.

[CNN]

16 comments
AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

The sad yet inescapable truth for me with regard to Afghanistan is that the Afghan army and police are not ready to take over the security responsibilities in their own country.  If the US left tomorrow the Taliban would re-take the country within a month.

I have to question the rational behind staying in a country where the government and the security forces either cannot or will not step up to eliminate a proven threat to a better way of life.  This after 12 years of investment. 

And, make no mistake, when the US leaves so will Karzai.  His only loyalty is to the biggest bag of cash.  We would be utter fools to give him safe haven in the US. 

We should have left years ago.

Kalyan
Kalyan

This is a lesson for the world that Americans will support any war outside their boundary as long as they don't loose their own soldiers in a big way. When they start loosing their own soldiers in a foreign country, they won't pretend to be any torchbearer to the world and ask their leaders to abandon the cause. They did that in Vietnam, in Pakistan, in Iraq and now doing the same in Afghanistan. And while they could pack their bag and leave the country in tatters, the country which they left continued bleeding for next 50 years. Not a pleasant lesson nevertheless true.

Anynomouse
Anynomouse

The real tragedy is something you won't hear any general, think tank expert or media pundit admit until maybe years from now.  

We should have reversed our military and #1 main economic goal (farm reform). Bulldozers first, MRAPS second.

Why? Because ag renovation would have eliminated most of the network of obsolete brush covered ditches and mud walls. That's where the Taliban shot at me or my wingman when we landed to pick up wounded during some of my 220 medevac missions. (just like nearly every youtube combat video).

This isn’t new. German forest hid the warriors who slaughtered 20,000 Romans.  The huge difference was in Afghanistan we had the opportunity to do this for pennies on the dollar. Imagine WWII if we could have went ashore and bulldozed the bunkers or hedgerows of Normandy or the camouflaged machine gun nests in the pacific jungles. 

If you don't get the military importance of cover and concealment, I suggest you go play paintball, but you have to stay out in the open. Now imagine paintball drones circling overhead, too. 

The math is enough to break your calculator. The cost to support one troop for a year could buy enough wire fencing or irrigation tubing to permanently eliminate 100 miles of ditch or mud wall. A $1 per Afghani subsidy could provide simple insulated brick cookstoves that cut the need for brush in half. They could grow another few bushels of food every year instead of more cover for the Taliban.

We just picked the wrong industrial complex to give our money to. John Deere and the USDA would have prevented most of the need for General Dynamics and the USMC.

Alas my only real combat tour wasn't until 2011. All my cohorts agreed completely. I contacted about 100 experts, none of whom wanted to be the first to acknowledge an oversight even worse than 9/11 (Experts watch terrorists suicide bomb and hijack planes for 40 years and never consider the suicide bomb-plane).


Robert Haston

 

roknsteve
roknsteve

Most of the Republican chicken hawks are pretending to be hippies for the election in 2016.  The rest are just as crazy as ever.

Realworldnonfantasyland
Realworldnonfantasyland

Kind of sad that this country has no respect for what our military does.  Fights the most efficient war you possibly can.. of course people have parished and that is terrible, but then again Vietnam had 50,000 American deaths.. Just as many police officers have died in the line of duty in America since the war started. 

I bet if you asked all 1035 to name me 5 facts about the war, that not one of them can rattle anything off. 

Vermontsnow
Vermontsnow

@mukke All wars are illegal....but I dont know what is the reason we are still in Afghan....We dont really know what is the true of US policy toward this region.  

BobJan
BobJan

@Realworldnonfantasyland First what I'd need to know is if you've ever served in combat. The answer to that would enable me to respond to your criticism.

Bob, 1st Cav. Vietnam 67/68

postingonline42
postingonline42

@Realworldnonfantasylandwrong: we respect the military. We have no respect for what our civilian goverment is doing WITH the military.


facts i can remember about afghanistan without using the internet:


1) People were not allowed to shoot back when attacked without calling headquarters first. by the time they get the OK to shoot back, the attackers had retreated. This was under bush.


2) women's rights in Afghanistan improved under bush, but now the taliban had poisoned, bombed, and closed down many girls schools. the natives want the taliban back now. 


3) we tried to teach girls in Afghanistan to start their own businesses by raising chickens inside their homes. Ironically, this is something that would be illegal in most parts of the usa without a license!


4) veterans (or lots of trolls claiming to be veterans) lampoon their culture of man-on-man intercourse while maintaining firm homophobia. Apparently they believe that god doesn't see what they do on Thursdays. This could of course be propaganda.


5) republicans cried "treason" when obama pointed out that osama was in Pakistan. Everyone forgot this.


6) our puppet we put in charge of that country bragged about the millions (or was it billions? i'll err on the side of caution and say millions) of tax payer money the CIA gave him under the table. he had no sense of obligation to return any favors because of this money.



there was apparently a meme going around of service men in Syria saying they didn't join the military to fight on the same side as terrorists. seems like our military doesn't respect what's being done with them either.

Realworldnonfantasyland
Realworldnonfantasyland

@postingonline42 I do like how you think #3 and #5 matters..... #2 is an absolutely terrible reason to let people stay in charge.  Kind of the ostrich head in the sand

Realworldnonfantasyland
Realworldnonfantasyland

@postingonline42  Since the Taliban has left power,  Life expectancy has gone up from 48 years old to 63 years old since 2003.  Infant mortality has been cut in half, where instead of 1 out of every 5 infants dying before the age of 5, 1 out of every 10.  Women are more likely to survive childbirth which they didn't before.  In 2003 there were 450 healthcare facilities and now there are over 1800.  

BobJan
BobJan

@Realworldnonfantasyland@BobJan Force will never accomplish anything. Unlike WWII where we bombed them into oblivion (Japan) which forced them to surrender, going in and occupying (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan) only accomplishes hatred of our government. It just doesn't work our way. And you are entitled to your opinions and research. This is the American way of life and we all need to just get along. Have a Happy New Year.