War in Afghanistan most unpopular ever?

Sarah Lazare | Common Dreams | December 31, 2013

CNN/ORC International survey finds US public vastly opposes war and wants it to end. Now.

(Photo by Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

(Photo by Majid Saeedi/Getty Images)

American support for the war in Afghanistan has plummeted below that for the wars in Iraq and Vietnam, making this 12-year (and counting) occupation likely the least popular in U.S. history.

So finds a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday, showing that just 17 percent of those surveyed support the war—a significant fall from 52 percent in December 2008. Meanwhile, 82 percent say they oppose the war—a jump from 46 percent in 2008.

“Those numbers show the war in Afghanistan with far less support than other conflicts,” saidCNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Opposition to the Iraq war never got higher than 69% in CNN polling while U.S. troops were in that country, and while the Vietnam War was in progress, no more than six in 10 ever told Gallup’s interviewers that war was a mistake.”

The poll, with a reported margin of error of plus or minus three percent, finds a little over half want U.S. troops withdrawn before President Obama’s publicly stated December 2014 deadline. Only 25 percent say that boots should remain on the ground in Afghanistan past that date.

Despite tanking public support, the Obama administration is pushing for Afghan ratification of the so-called Bilateral Security Agreement, which would extend U.S. military presence far beyond the promised 2014 withdrawal deadline. The pact, which would also grant U.S. troops and contractors immunity under Afghan law and allow continued violent raids of Afghan homes, is currently stalled over Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s refusal to sign it.

Monday’s poll comes on the heels of an AP/GFK poll, previously reported by Common Dreams, which finds that a majority of the U.S. public thinks the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan was the “wrong thing” to do and that the withdrawal is moving too slowly.


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