Afghans Want U.S. To Start Leaving Next Year

A new poll of Afghan citizens shows that they don’t want us staying in their country much longer:

Nationwide, more than half of Afghans interviewed said U.S. and NATO forces should begin to leave the country in mid-2011 or earlier. More Afghans than a year ago see the United States as playing a negative role in Afghanistan, and support for President Obama’s troop surge has faded. A year ago, 61 percent of Afghans supported the deployment of 30,000 additional U.S. troops. In the new poll, 49 percent support the move, with 49 percent opposed.

“We want the Afghan forces to be able to control security so the foreign forces can leave,” said Mohamed Neim Nurzai, 40, a farmer from Farah province who participated in the poll.

After a big drop last year, more than a quarter of Afghans again say attacks against U.S. and other foreign military forces are justifiable.

Overall, nearly three-quarters of Afghans now believe their government should pursue negotiations with the Taliban, with almost two-thirds willing to accept a deal allowing Taliban leaders to hold political office. Nearly a third of adults see the Taliban as more moderate today than they were when they ruled the country.

Here’s a question: If they don’t want us there, why aren’t we leaving?

FILED UNDER: Asia, National Security, World Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Tano says:

    Here’s a question: If they don’t want us there, why aren’t we leaving?

    Here is a question for you Doug. How is it that you have somehow forgotten that Obama has, for quite some time now, identified next summer as the time when a withdrawal is to begin? He has actually gotten a lot of criticism for doing so, so its hard to imagine that you have not heard of this.
    Did this just slip your mind?

  2. Tano,

    You mean the 2011 deadline that has just been moved to 2014 ?