CNN Poll: Afghan War Support Hits New Low
Beaver County Peace Links via CNN Political Unit
(CNN, April 2) - Support for the war in Afghanistan has fallen to an all-time low with the majority of Americans saying the U.S. should withdraw all of its troops from Afghanistan before the 2014 deadline set by the Obama administration, according to a new poll.
The CNN/ORC International survey released Friday indicated only 25% of Americans favored the war in the Asian country. A majority of Republicans voiced opposition to it, for the first time since the war began in 2001.
Just 37% of the general public said things are going well for the U.S. in Afghanistan, while only 34% said America is winning the war. The approval likely contributed to the 55% of those surveyed who said the U.S. should remove all of its troops from the country before 2014.
Twenty-two percent expressed support for the 2014 timetable and an additional 22% said the U.S. should keep some troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014.
Leaders at the Pentagon have recently responded to low poll numbers by stressing the importance of fighting the war on the ground.
"We cannot fight wars by polls," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Tuesday. "If we do that we're in deep trouble. We have to operate based on what we believe is the best strategy to achieve the mission that we are embarked on. And the mission here is to safeguard our country by ensuring that the Taliban and al Qaeda never again find a safe haven in Afghanistan."
The poll, conducted for CNN by ORC International, surveyed 1,014 American adults by telephone between March 24 and March 25 with a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
– CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this report.