NYT/CBS poll indicates support for continued presence in Afghanistan plummeting
Well, public opinion for Iraq was low too, and we still came out of that one okay, but oooof, this is rough:
WASHINGTON — After a series of violent episodes and setbacks, support for the war in Afghanistan has dropped sharply among both Republicans and Democrats, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
The survey found that more than two-thirds of those polled — 69 percent — thought that the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan. Just four months ago, 53 percent said that Americans should no longer be fighting in the conflict, more than a decade old.
The increased disillusionment was even more pronounced when respondents were asked their impressions of how the war was going. 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.
If that isn't clear enough, look at this handy graphic that NYT provided for us:
And just so you can see the decline even clearer, this is from the actual memo from the polling:
Pretty hard to spin that one.
And I'm not going to spin it, it is what it is. As near as I can guess, the biggest changes have to be from the Green on Blue attacks and the (purported) SSG Bales attacks. In actual combat operations we are bringing the heat just as effectively as we have been for years. But, as we've learned before, winning the battles doesn't seem to translate into winning the war as it once did.
That said, I don't think I have let y'all know this yet, but I am headed to Afghanistan next month on an Embedded Reporter gig for The American Legion Magazine, and I hope to be able to post from there. Should be in theater about 2-3 weeks, gone for about a month total, since it takes a few days to get in and out of Afghanistan. Hopefully I will have internet in Kyrgyzstan, especially if I get stuck there more than a few days.
I'm more than a little eager to get in and talk to the Joes about how they think things are going. Most the time I find that the troops have more optimism than the general public, but with the rash of ANA and ANP shootings, I suspect that that might be different this time around.
If you are a PAO in Afghanistan, or know someone who is, and you'd like me to come see what y'all have going on, contact me at my Burn Pit email address MOTHAX@legion.org
For now though, I'm doing my daily roadmarches, growing out the beard, promising my wife I won't do anything *TOO* stupid, and debating whether to go with a simple high and tight or whether I should sport the 101st Airborne Mohawk for my short adventure. Thankfully reporters aren't subject to AR 670-1! Also very grateful I won't be lugging that clunky radio up any mountains.