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Defense / National Security

Support for War in Afghanistan Declines

photo of Alexandra  Jaffe
May 9, 2012

In a year marked by increasing backlash by Afghan forces against U.S. and NATO soldiers, American support for the war is in decline, with only 27 percent saying they support the effort, according to a new AP-GfK poll.

The results mark a 10-point decrease from a year ago, when 37 percent supported the war, and an almost 20-point decline over two years ago.

Almost half of the 66 percent who oppose the war say American troops continuing to serve in Afghanistan are doing more harm than good for the effort there. However, 48 percent of the respondents overall said the continued American troop presence is helping Afghanistan build a democracy.

The public is split over the effect of bin Laden's death on the safety of Americans, with 27 percent saying it increased the threat and 38 percent saying it has not affected safety.

Republicans are more likely than Democrats to consider U.S. troops to be a helpful force in Afghanistan, 56 percent to 47 percent, but independents are widely split on the issue, with 43 percent saying troops are hurting Afghanistan's efforts and 32 percent saying they help.

The poll was conducted May 3-7 among 1,004 adults nationwide. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

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