More than half of Americans believe the United States has mostly failed to achieve its goals with the war in Afghanistan, according to a poll released Thursday.
The USA Today/Pew Research Center poll is a stark contrast to one released in June 2011 following the death of Osama bin Laden. At that time, 58 percent said they believed the United States would achieve its goals in Afghanistan.
Fifty-two percent of Americans said the United States has mostly failed to achieve its goals in the country, compared with 38 percent who said the U.S. has mostly succeeded, according to Thursday’s poll.
The poll was conducted Jan. 15-19 among 1,504 adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
Despite uncertainty over the United States’ reaching its goals, 51 percent of Americans said the decision to use military force was the right one, compared with 41 percent who said it wasn’t. In January 2009, 64 percent said using military force was the right call.
And there’s little partisan divide on whether the United States has achieved its goals. Fifty-two percent of Republicans said it has mostly failed, compared with 48 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of independents.
A question on whether the United States had achieved its goals in Iraq garnered nearly exact results. Fifty-two percent said the United States had mostly failed, while 37 percent believe it has mostly succeeded.
The poll comes as U.S. officials and NATO allies are uncertain what — if any — military involvement they will have in Afghanistan after this year. U.S.-Afghan relations have been trained over President Hamid Karzai’s refusal to sign a bilateral security agreement until after the country’s elections later this year. U.S. officials have argued that delaying the signing hurts military planning and increases the chance that the United States will remove all of its troops by the end of the 2014.
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”