Support for Afghan War hits a new low among Americans
The results of a just released poll conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post reveal that the American public’s support for the country’s decade-long military operation in Afghanistan is at its lowest since troops first arrived just a month after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
According to the study’s findings, two-thirds of Americans say the war has not been worth fighting for, which parallels the opposition the country had with the war in Iraq five years earlier. Support for the war in Afghanistan is now clocked in at 30 percent, 3 points below than the last lowest point on record.
The news comes as America continues to ready its exit from Afghanistan, which has been expedited in recent months but not without incident. As the US prepares to pull its combat forces out of Afghanistan, a series of events in 2012 alone have only worsened pro-war sentiments which had already been faltering as the war continues to be the longest fought in America’s history.
Earlier this year, international outrage erupted after a string of negative incidents occurred in Afghanistan prompting increased opposition from Afghans themselves over the presence of foreign troops. A video uploaded to the Internet this January showed US troops urinating on the bodies of dead Afghans, which was followed merely a month later with a separate incident in Kandahar in which soldiers were believed to be charring and destroying copies of the Muslim holy book. Not even a third of the way through 2012, anti-American sentiments hit perhaps their worst ever when a US staff sergeant committed a massacre near Kandahar last month, killing 16 civilians.
The largest proportion of public disapproval of the war also comes at a time when official statistics put the tally of American soldiers killed in Afghanistan at around 2,000, which of course does not take into consideration the number of civilians executed abroad or the ever-increasing injuries that have left a countless number of fighters on both side of the war severely injured.
Even before the results of the ABC/Post poll were published, US President Barack Obama told supporters on Tuesday this week that he was serious about speeding up his withdrawal.
“For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq,” said the president, reports the Post. “And we’ve begun to transition in Afghanistan to put Afghans in the lead, bring our troops home.”
The poll also concludes that around 48 percent of the public are in favor of President Obama’s handling of the war, with 43 percent disapproving.
A separate poll conducted near the 10-year anniversary of the war issued by the Pew Research Center last year revealed that around one-third of US veterans that were involved in either the Afghan or Iraq wars felt that they were not fighting for.