U.S. Support For Afghan War Plunges

   on March 26 2012 8:27 PM
Afghanistan Casualty
U.S. Army soldiers of 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry, Task Force Bronco salute before loading the flag-draped body of a member of their unit killed during a mission, on a helicopter at Forward Operating Base Fenty in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan March 22, 2012. The soldier was run over by a U.S. military armoured vehicle after pulling and saving an Afghan child in front of the vehicle, during a patrol in Nangarhar province on Thursday. Reuters/Erik de Castro

The U.S. war effort in Afghanistan has become more unpopular than ever as increasing numbers of Americans say the United States should not be involved, a New York Times/CBS News poll released Monday finds.

More than two-thirds of those surveyed — 69 percent — think that the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan, the Times reports. That number is a significant increase from just four months ago, when 53 percent said Americans should no longer be fighting in the conflict, which began more than a decade ago.

There were even sharper increases when respondents were asked for their impressions on the state of the war. The poll found that 68 percent thought the fighting was going “somewhat badly” or “very badly,” compared with 42 percent who had those impressions in November. The latest poll was conducted by telephone from March 21 to 25 with 986 adults nationwide.

The poll comes as the White House is weighing options for speeding troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and after bad news from the battlefield, including the killings of 17 Afghan civilians attributed to an Army staff sergeant and violence set off by the burning last month of Qurans by American troops. The poll also followed a number of high-profile killings of American service members by their Afghan partners, a trend that the top American commander in Afghanistan said Monday was likely to continue.

The poll showed that across all parties, negative impressions of the war in Afghanistan were growing. Among Republicans, 54 percent said the war was going somewhat or very well in November 2011, but just 34 percent said so in the most recent New York Times/CBS News poll.

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