Support For Afghan War Hits All-Time Low

Afghanistan Troops

A new poll indicates that support for the war in Afghanistan is at an all-time low:

Only 28 percent of Americans say the war in Afghanistan has been worth fighting, the lowest number on record and clearly below the least-popular stretches of the Iraq war, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Overall support for U.S. military operations in Afghanistan has dropped 11 percentage points since March, a precipitous fall during a period marked by tension between U.S. officials and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a spring and summer resurgence in Taliban attacks, and the failure of ballyhooed peace talks with insurgents to get off the ground.

The drop in approval was matched by an 11-point increase, to 67 percent, in those who say the war has not been worth fighting.

The numbers come as Congress has moved to cut President Obama’s budget request for operations in Afghanistan, and the administration is reportedly leaving open the possibility of withdrawing all troops by the end of next year, when combat forces are scheduled to pull out.

Declining support crosses demographic and party lines, with double-digit drops among men and women, whites and non-whites, Democrats, Republicans and independents.

While Republicans generally remain more supportive than Democrats, their approval has collapsed at a faster rate in recent years.

Fewer than half of Americans — 43 percent — say that the Afghan war has contributed to long-term U.S. security, the first time that number has dipped below 50 percent in the past four years.

With the war itself clearly on a trajectory now where it is winding down, at least as far as U.S. involvement is concerned, and the possibility being floated that the U.S. may end up not having any presence in the country after 2014 at all, it will be interesting to see what impact a decade of two incredibly unpopular wars will have on the future direction of U.S. foreign policy. Some have suggested that it has laid the groundwork for renewed popularity for a more non-interventionist foreign policy direction for the country. Perhaps that’s the case. Personally, I’ll be happy if it just means that the American people become more questioning of the assertions of their so-called leaders when they tell us that we “must” intervene in this country or that because of some alleged danger. If it means making fewer mistakes like Iraq and the Afghanistan surge, then that will be a good thing.

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs, National Security, Public Opinion Polls, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds 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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. edmondo says:
  2. Ron Beasley says:

    I’ll be happy if it just means that the American people become more questioning of the assertions of their so-called leaders when they tell us that we “must” intervene in this country or that because of some alleged danger.

    The problem is not so much the American people but the politicians that depend on defense contractors for money.

  3. Tillman says:

    If it means making fewer mistakes like Iraq and the Afghanistan surge, then that will be a good thing.

    Well, the Afghanistan surge was based on the success of the Iraq surge, and well, that speaks for itself.

  4. bill says:

    @edmondo: Israel will take care of it, I can’t see obama’s admin getting all that involved.
    I don’t even know what his policy is in afghanistan anymore- they don’t really speak of it as it brings up negative press.

  5. edmondo says:

    @bill:

    they don’t really speak of it as it brings up negative press.

    Perhaps the reporters who tell Obama how great his economic policies are should weigh in on foreign policy too?

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/obama-reporters-tell-me-my-ideas-are-great/

  6. An Interested Party says:

    Israel will take care of it…

    Oh? How, exactly, will Israel do that…