Majority Of Americans Support Immediate Withdrawal From Afghanistan
A new Rasmussen polls shows, yet again, that public support for the war in Afghanistan has slip into Iraq War territory:
A majority of voters, for the first time, support an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan or the creation of a timetable to bring them all home within a year.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 31% of Likely U.S. Voters now say all troops should be brought home from Afghanistan immediately, while another 21% say a firm timetable should be established to bring all troops home within a year’s time. The combined total of 52% who want the troops home within a year is a nine-point jump from 43% last September. Just 37% felt that way in September 2009.
Only 34% of voters now think there should be no timetable for withdrawal. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Republicans have traditionally been more supportive than Democrats of continuing the mission in Afghanistan, but now 37% of GOP voters favor bringing home the troops within a year, compared to 24% six months ago. Seventy-three percent (73%) of voters in President Obama’s party favor that timetable, a view shared by 45% of voters not affiliated with either of the major political parties.
Twenty-seven percent (27%) of all voters think the U.S. mission in Afghanistan will eventually be judged a success. Thirty-one percent (31%) predict that it will be regarded as a failure, but that’s down 11 points from 42% in early December. A substantial 41% now are not sure.
Now, obviously, foreign policy shouldn’t be conducted by opinion poll, but this strikes me as a situation where the public is, once again, ahead of Washington. The logic for continued U.S. occupation of Afghanistan no longer exists, and the longer we stay, the harder it becomes to leave.