December 23rd, 2009
08:12 AM ET

CNN Poll: Afghanistan war still unpopular, but troop increase isn't

Although the war in Afghanistan remains unpopular with most Americans, the public supports President Obama's decision to send more U.S. troops to the conflict, according to a new national poll.

Fifty-nine percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Wednesday morning said they favor the president's plan to send 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, with 39 percent opposed.

"Most of those who oppose Obama's plan would like to see the U.S. immediately withdraw all its troops from Afghanistan," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

Read more about the poll results

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Filed under: Daily Developments • Decision: Afghanistan • Troops
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Col Gregory Breazile

    The troop increase is vital to our success in Afghanistan. I am currently serving in Afghanistan and know that without these troops we would not be able to achieve our mission. I am currently serving with the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A) and we are the main effort for the war this year. We have the mission to build the Afghan Army and Police which requires instructors to train and resource the soldiers and police. Our current plan is to build the Afghan Army to 171.6K and the Police to 134K by Oct 2011. There is no way we would reach these growth goals without the additional boots on the ground. The Afghans are ramping up the recruiting effort and this December was their biggest recruiting month in the history of this conflict. We are cautiously optimistic about where we are headed with this mission but most here believe our goals to be achievable. In addition to the growth mission, NTM-A has begun literacy training for all soldiers and police and we have increased their pay so we can compete with the Taliban. The bottom line is that most Afghans want peace. Polls show that the Taliban are not highly regarded in this society and most Afghans have positive feelings toward the Afghan Army. The incoming troops will be a boost to our ability to achieve our objectives. Time will tell how this mission will turn out. Semper Fi

    January 17, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, B.A. J.D.

    We need to do everything possible to make our troops successful. The people we fight hurt the US in war, and in the drug trade. This means going after the networks of narco-terrorists who allow the Taliban and Al Quaeda to kill our young men by supplying huge quantities of Heroin that poison other young men and women in this country, and in the EU. We already go after the funding sources from the middle east. Using defoliants on poppy crops simply gives addicts in the developed world Cancer, and would give many innocent children in Afghanistan hideous birth defects. But by working on genetically engineered fungal, viral and biological and insectivorous blights to kill poppy flowers before they can create a seed pod, we will reduce suffering in the cities of the EU and America, and allow our troops to prevail over an ill fed, and poorly equipped insurgency. If we are careful to narrowly tailor these pests to poppies, it won't take much to convince Afghan Farmers to grow other crops that are not subject to the blights. Australia already supplies plenty of legitimate opium used in prescription drugs. Making poppies extinct in Afghanistan ought to be one of our primary goals.

    January 3, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. William Wood

    Alex,

    I'm not entirely sure your statement regarding equipment employed in Afghanistan is accurate. I've got pretty modern personal gear. The old Alice gear of the 1970s is long gone. We use MOLLE now and it is superb. Our uniforms have a new camo pattern that is even now being tweaked to be more effective in Afghanistan. Weapons are a mixed bag. The tried and true MK2 .50 cal remains effective and deadly. The Vietnam era M-60 is history, replaced with the MG 240. My personal weapons are less than two years old and the latest version of the 5.56 round are readily available. Communications gear is typically state-of-the art and medical gear seems be be the latest thing as well. In terms of vehicles: The MRAP, STRYKER and latest mark of the armored HUMVEE dominate small unit transport. The Air Force is using Reaper UAV in increasing numbers and is being vocal about the age of their fleet. The Marines aren't being nearly as vocal but they face similar aging issues in their aircraft.

    Cheers!

    William

    December 27, 2009 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. Alex R.

    The strong and lasting government without US in Afghanistan involves a brutal dictatorship. While the path of democracy without the US is genocide. Either way things are not going to end the way everybody wants it to. I doubt even Osama is prepared for what comes next. All that is however is that the US military is in due for rearmament. Most of the equipment we have deployed in the region was designed in the seventies.

    December 26, 2009 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. William Wood

    Afghanistan needs stability. Few if any of the profound issues facing Afghans can be addressed without it. Let the military (as Devil Dog says) fight the fight so the non-military assistance can have a chance to take root. As for A.Smith, understand that nothing in Afghanistan can be compared to the West. Afghans think differently and deal with conditions that would leave the average American dead or dying. They are a tough and practical people. What Westerners might see as corruption, Afghans view as a time-proven way of ensuring family and friends are cared for. My hope is that the US invests the time and resources to supporting lasting stability for a strong and independent Afghanistan.

    December 26, 2009 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Teufelhunden

    I can agree with the post from Oregon, though I would like to expand that a little deeper. Yes, there may be poppy fields and corrupt people and uneducated people there… sounds like the beginnings of almost every country I have heard of, well short of the poppy fields. Anyway, we will have to deal with evilness at one time or another, and the longer they prepare, the harder it will be to defend and clean-up.

    Though… we do not need another politician run war, Politicians have their place here in the government, leave the carnage and sins of war to the people who know how to do it and do it right.. the military.

    December 23, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. A. Smith, Oregon

    Propping up a corrupt leader thru the gun barrels of the US Military is not a popular value which Americans cherish to have their sons and daughters giving up their lives for.

    Flooding the world with Heroin from the vast poppy fields in Afghanistan is not a popular value which Americans cherish to protect with the lives of their sons and daughters.

    The Muslim women in Afghanistan remain largely uneducated, not trained in self-defense and unarmed. Their terrible conditions will likely continue as business as usual after American soldiers leave Afghanistan and the Taliban returns.

    I see nothing in the Afghanistan War effort which I feel is popular here in America nor contain any of the core of American values whatsoever.

    December 23, 2009 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |