Afghanistan: an increasingly unpopular war in US and UK

IssueDecember 2009 - January 2010
News by Polina Aksamentova

Discontent over the war in Afghanistan continued to grow in November in both the UK and US, with support for withdrawal reaching 63% in Britain and 39% in the US, according to BBC and CBS News polls, respectively.

A ComRes poll for the Independent on Sunday put the support in Britain on 15 November even higher: 71% for phased withdrawal within 1 year.

The BBC survey, published 8 November, also found that 64% of Britons now believe the war to be “unwinnable”, up from 58 percent in July. Similarly, 63% of respondents to a YouGov poll for Sky News conducted in early November said that British troops should not be in Afghanistan.

In US, a CNN poll found that 58% of US citizens oppose the war in Afghanistan, while 56% oppose sending more troops. The results were published on 11 November.

Another poll, released by the Washington Post on 18 November, showed that 52% of people in the US believe the war has not been worth fighting.

The biggest consensus in both countries is over the futility of the war. 80% of Britons are not persuaded that the war is making the UK safer from terrorist attacks, according to a poll published by the Independent on 11 November. 46% think the UK is less safe.

At the same time, in the US, 64% think the risk of terrorism remains the same, whether the US remains in Afghanistan or withdraws, according to the Washington Post.

Moreover, the CNN poll found that 70% of Americans do not believe that Afghanistan will ever have a stable democratic government.

Once again, these findings were not largely reported on or picked up by other outlets. The articles themselves were often framed around politics, such as Gordon Brown's re-election prospects and Barrack Obama's popularity.

Topics: Afghanistan