Poll: Americans want out of Afghanistan within a year

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates rides in a Black Hawk helicopter as he flies above Kandahar province March 8, 2011
US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently reaffirmed a continued US presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014, but most Americans want out much sooner.

A new Rasmussen poll found that a majority of likely US voters want the government to set a new timetable to withdraw troops from Afghanistan within a year. Of that group about a third wants troops to be brought home immediately. In September 2010, not even 43 percent favored a timetable.

Currently, the Obama administration has set out a timeline they would see troops begin to withdrawal in July 2011 but not end combat operations until 2014. However, in a statement on March 7 Gates expressed American involvement and troops would more than likely remain in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

Democrats favor a quick withdraw more than Republicans, but in the past six months Republicans have increased their favor of withdraw from 24 percent to 37 percent. Rasmussen also indicated that 41 percent of Americans are unsure whether the US War in Afghanistan will be seen as a success.

The recent poll adds fire to a poll by USA Today/Gallup in February which indicated 72 percent of Americans would favor action by Congress to press a quicker withdraw from Afghanistan.