Majority Of Americans Support Afghan Withdrawal Timeline

A new poll shows that a majority of the public favors President Obama’s decision to begin withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan in July 2011:

A majority of Americans favor President Barack Obama’s planned July 2011 timetable to begin the withdrawal of U.S. troops, according to a new USA Today/Gallup Poll.

Fifty-eight percent of the 1,044 adults surveyed said they support the Afghanistan timetable compared with 38 percent who oppose it.

Among the 38 percent who are against a timetable, most say the United States should not set any deadlines.

Democrats and Republicans are split over the timetable, with 80 percent of Democrats and only 31 percent of Republicans in favor of the July 2011 deadline.

Further signs, I would contend, of the public’s war weariness.

FILED UNDER: Public Opinion Polls, US 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. Brummagem Joe says:

    This is not a surprise. The country has had it with this war which seems to be serving no purpose that anyone can discern. I actually believe the President gave the military what they asked for six months ago in the expectation that despite their optimism (when did a general last say he was going to lose) they probably wouldn’t make any quantum shift in the situation and that gradually majority public opinion would shift to a point where he could pull the plug without political problems at home from an opposition that is only interested in opposing. The Europeans have been at this point for a long time (it’s 72% for withdrawal in Britain). We’re about to end the worst month for NATO casualties since the invasion, an IG has just published a report saying the Afghan army is a basket case (as if this was a revelation!), and Karzai is clearly lost, not that he was much good to start with. The McChrystal firing has put the whole Afghanistan mess back on the front burner and the amount of press and blog comment making the case for and against withdrawal are all symptomatic of a campaign that’s in it’s death throes. I expect this neg number to be over 60% by year end.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Joe’s right, methinks: You support the timeline if you oppose the war and vice versa.

    It simply makes no sense to have a near timeline if one is serious about the mission, much less a counterinsurgency strategy. That, all agree, requires years if not decades.

    If, on the other hand, one thinks — as I happen to — that we’re pretty much as close to “victory” as we’re ever going to be, then having some framework to justify pulling the plug is welcome.