A recent CNN poll of adults in the United States indicates that "the country's longest military conflict arguably its most unpopular one as well." -- Only 17% support the war, which is opposed by 82%, up from 46% five years ago. -- "Some 2,300 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since the war began in the autumn of 2001. -- The U.S. is quickly drawing down its forces in Afghanistan. -- If a bilateral security agreement that would keep up to 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the end of 2014 isn't signed in the near future, the U.S. could withdrawal all forces from Afghanistan at the end of next year." -- Luke Johnson, writing on the Huffington Post, noted that "U.S. efforts to impose an ultimatum to sign by the end of this year have failed." -- Although levels of support for the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan approached 90% in 2001, 57% of Americans now think that "it was the 'wrong thing to do' to invade," according to an AP poll conducted this month. -- BACKGROUND: -- Wikipedia has an extensive article on the evolution of international public opinion on the war in Afghanistan....
CNN POLL: AFGHANISTAN WAR ARGUABLY MOST UNPOPULAR IN HISTORY
December 30, 2013
WASHINGTON -- Support for the war in Afghanistan has dipped below 20%, according to a new national poll, making the country's longest military conflict arguably its most unpopular one as well.
The CNN/ORC International survey released Monday also indicates that a majority of Americans would like to see U.S. troops pull out of Afghanistan before the December 2014 deadline.
Just 17% of those questioned say they support the 12-year-long war, down from 52% in December 2008. Opposition to the conflict now stands at 82%, up from 46% five years ago.
"Those numbers show the war in Afghanistan with far less support than other conflicts," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Opposition to the Iraq war never got higher than 69% in CNN polling while U.S. troops were in that country, and while the Vietnam War was in progress, no more than six in 10 ever told Gallup's interviewers that war was a mistake."
The U.S. timetable for Afghanistan calls for the removal of nearly all troops by roughly this time next year, and that can't come fast enough for the vast majority of Americans. Just over half would rather see U.S. troops withdrawn earlier than December 2014. Only a quarter say that America should still have boots on the ground in Afghanistan after that deadline.
Fifty-seven percent say the conflict is going badly for the U.S. and only a third say America is winning the war in Afghanistan.
"Independents have a much gloomier view of the war in Afghanistan than Republicans or Democrats," Holland said. "That may be because a Republican president started the war and a Democratic president has continued it, so there may be some residual support among people who identify with either party."
Some 2,300 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since the war began in the autumn of 2001. The U.S. is quickly drawing down its forces in Afghanistan. If a bilateral security agreement that would keep up to 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the end of 2014 isn't signed in the near future, the U.S. could withdrawal all forces from Afghanistan at the end of next year.
The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International between December 16 and 19, with 1,035 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
The discontent evident in the CNN poll is also seen in two other national surveys conducted earlier this month. Two-thirds of those questioned in an ABC News/Washington Post poll said the war has not been worth fighting, and an Associated Press/GfK survey showed 57% saying the U.S. did the wrong thing in going to war in Afghanistan.
AFGHANISTAN WAR POLL SHOWS SUPPORT FALLING TO BELOW IRAQ, VIETNAM LEVELS
By Luke Johnson
December 30, 2013
More than 12 years after the United States invaded Afghanistan, support for the war is dipping below levels of support for American intervention in Iraq and Vietnam, according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday.
CNN found that 17 percent support the effort in Afghanistan, down from 52 percent in December 2008. Eighty-two percent disapprove of the conflict. Americans' assessment of the war is gloomy -- 57 percent said the war is going badly, and about a third think the United States is winning.
United States troops are scheduled to be in Afghanistan for another year -- until Dec. 31, 2014. A recent National Intelligence Estimate predicted that gains made by the United States would be significantly lost by 2017 if the United States and Afghanistan do not make a new security pact allowing troops beyond the deadline. However, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has been reluctant to sign such a deal, and U.S. efforts to impose an ultimatum to sign by the end of this year have failed.
Unlike Iraq and Vietnam, which were started under dubious pretenses, the rationale for invading Afghanistan as a response to 9/11 was seen as reasonable by nearly all of the American public. However, approval figures for Vietnam and Iraq were higher than those found in the recent poll. President Lyndon Johnson's approval on Vietnam reached a low of 27 percent in Gallup polling, and Nixon's nadir was even higher. A high of 61 percent of Americans thought Vietnam was a mistake, according to Gallup polling. Support for George Bush's handling of Iraq dipped to 26 percent in USA Today/Gallup polling in January 2007. A high of 63 percent of Americans thought Iraq was a mistake in April 2008.
Other recent polling has shown that most Americans believe the war in Afghanistan to be a mistake. A December AP poll found that 57 percent of Americans thought it was the "wrong thing to do" to invade, and 66 percent said it was not worth fighting for in a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll.