Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Public Support for War in Afghanistan Falls

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thumbs downA USA Today/Gallup poll released last week found that public support for President Obama’s Afghanistan war policy declined from 48 percent in February to 36 percent. USA Today attributed the 12-percent decline to “a rising U.S. death toll and the unauthorized release of classified military documents.”

The leaked documents show that Pakistan, a supposed U.S. ally in the war against terrorism, has been guiding the insurgency against American troops in Afghanistan, where the U.S. death toll does not show any signs of abating. On Saturday, August 7, a 10-member humanitarian aid group, which included six Americans, was found shot to death.

The USA Today/Gallup poll also found that 43 percent of those surveyed feel it was a mistake to go to war in Afghanistan following 9/11. This lack of support, a record low, has also affected Obama’s sagging general approval rating (41%), according to USA Today. Moreover, despite the fact that the U.S. economy is suffering from an ongoing and trying recession, his public support on his handling of the economy (39 percent support according to the poll) is  now actually slightly better than his support for his war policy (36 percent) — which is very revealing indeed in terms of how negative the public is becoming towards the war in Afghanistan.

USA Today also reported that "even Obama's handling of the war in Iraq received record-low approval." Obama is claiming that U.S. combat operations will end there by August 31. However, as Thomas R. Eddlem points out in a recent article, our involvement in Iraq will continue past August 31 via a transitional military force as well as U.S.-employed private contractors.

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