Most are patient if Obama misses Afghanistan troop deadline

May 20, 2011, 6:00 PM GMT+0

President Barack Obama promises to start removing U.S. troops from Afghanistan this July. What if he doesn’t? For almost half of all Americans, the response would be, “Just as I thought”—as 19% of Americans say it is very unlikely and 25% somewhat unlikely Obama will be able to start removing troops in about 6-to-10 weeks, according to the Economist/YouGov poll of 1000 adults nationwide, conducted May 14-17, 2011.

As noted elsewhere on this page, Americans are skeptical about the long-range outcome of our decade-long involvement in Afghanistan, and most (60%) want to decrease the number of troops in Afghanistan, but they might prove patient if the promised withdrawal schedule slips. Asked to predict, only 51% expect to see fewer U.S. troops in Afghanistan at the end of next year than are there now, while 40% expect about the same number of troops a year-and-a-half from now, and 9% think there will be more troops in Afghanistan at the end of 2012 than there are now.

Full datasets for Economist/YouGov polls can be found here.

Photo source: Press Association