U.S. In Afghanistan: Americans Want Out

March 21, 2012, 2:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 3/17/2012) Americans have wanted the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan for a while, and recent events there have only confirmed that belief. More than half of the respondents in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll say the government should speed up its withdrawal plans, and remove U.S. troops before the scheduled 2014 timetable date.

Republicans are somewhat less likely than Democrats to want a sped-up withdrawal. Still, 45% of them would remove U.S. troops before 2014. Slightly less than a third of Republicans want troops to stay in Afghanistan "as long as it takes to accomplish its goals."

Americans believe most Afghans also want U.S. troops to leave.

Recent events in Afghanistan, including the killing of more than a dozen civilians, allegedly by an American soldier, the mistaken burning of Muslim Korans, and the riots that followed it, have changed some people’s minds: 40% say they made them want to withdraw troops earlier. However, many Americans have supported withdrawing U.S. troops for a long time.

Americans are not happy with the President’s performance in handling the situation in Afghanistan. Just 39% approve his performance; nearly half do not.

Over eight in ten Americans believe the U.S. will withdraw from Afghanistan without a victory.

But Americans don’t necessarily think the original U.S. involvement there was a mistake. 36% do, and 39% do not. The rest aren’t sure.

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

Photo source: Press Association

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