March 28th, 2009
05:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Analysis: Americans wary about war in Afghanistan

U.S. forces have been engaged in fierce fighting to oust the Taliban in Afghanistan.
U.S. forces have been engaged in fierce fighting to oust the Taliban in Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - How does the American public feel about the war in Afghanistan? In a word, wary.

President Obama on Friday announced his strategy to fight terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a plan that includes more troops, new legislation, improved troop training and added civilian expertise.

"The United States of American did not choose to fight a war in Afghanistan. Nearly 3,000 of our people were killed on September 11, 2001," Obama said Friday.

"We have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan," he said.

Stressing that "the safety of people around the world is at stake," Obama said the "situation is increasingly perilous" in the region in and around Afghanistan, where the United States has been fighting al Qaeda and the Taliban for more than 7½ years after attacks in New York and at the Pentagon.

Nevertheless, the American public has been wary about the war in Afghanistan, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll conducted in February.

Full story


Filed under: Afghanistan • Iraq • President Obama
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Fitz in Texas

    No no, CNN. Obama said we can't use the word "terrorism" or "terrorist", remember.

    Hmmmmmmmmmm, I think the word "war" is also not allowed as well.

    Better watch your words in these reports. Big brother won't be happy if you don't.

    March 28, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  2. ds, USA

    This author bases his premise on a poll conducted in February and relies on the the term "wary" as meaning what? A lot has happened since then and I'm also wary of polls. Way to stay current Bill. Always a day late and a dollar short. No wonder CNN has dropped in the ratings.

    March 28, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  3. Floyd in New York

    Were is the Liberal outrage? Where are the anti-war protests? Why aren't college students dancing around the campus peace poles? Why wasn't Obama asked these questions during his last press conference?? The Democrat's and the press are the ultimate hypocrites! If this was George W. Bush you would have been all over him like Grant took Richmond!!

    March 28, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  4. ron

    of course we're wary of war CNN, jeez.

    but letting up on the dirty jihadists and hoping that they return to the simple ways of family and farming is wholly unrealistic.

    the war on terror will have to be a continuous, small action offense on our part, where ever necisary, for as long as necisary. maybe for the rest of our lives.

    if small, weak governments won't police their own land, we'll have to do it for them. we'll have to have backbone, patience, and faith in our military, who is happy to do the job, if we would just let them.

    SAME WITH THE FRIGGIN BORDER!

    March 28, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  5. catmom

    What I'm leery about is why Republicans are so eager to cast this as President Obama's war when he is attempting to finish the job left to him by the previous administration. I don't know what Republicans and even Democrats want him to do. No matter what he does do no one will be happy. I wonder if the Congress people trotting out to the nearest microphone to complain have actually spoken to the President about their ideas. To bad these same critics weren't as critical when the previous administration was getting us into this mess.

    March 28, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  6. Maggie

    Now he is chaging color again. Before his election he was bring home the troops and cutting mmilatary spending, now he is going into another country and increasinf troops. why is he so wishy washy or is he stright out lying every time/ You fiogure it out, won't be too hard. We need our milatary where ever it is best to protect our cou ntry and they need all the things possible for them to be taken care of, medical, clothes, guns and etc. Also when they are wounded in the line of duty they need the highet level of care for they are all heroes. We need to take care of our soldiers anywhere they are.

    March 28, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. John

    Afghanistan: The real war our stupid former president got bored with.

    March 28, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  8. william

    Hopefully, this time the job will be completed. If Bush had not listened to Cheney and invaded Iraq the problem in Afghanistan might have been resolved by now. Since our troops have been committed let them fight and get this over with quick. We know who the enemy is so take the fight to them and finally get Bin Laden and his second in command.

    March 28, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  9. Patriot Guy

    For all of you peace-at-any-cost boneheads out there who actually believed Obama would end our military presence in the middle east, I have one thing to say: SUCKERRRRRRRRRRRS!!! :-)

    March 28, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  10. Lady K

    If Bush never pulled troops out of Afghanistan to go to Iraq, we would be nearly done by now. Bush and Cheney decided to remove Bin Laden from first priority. We have no choice but to correct that mistake. This isn't a war against Afghanistan; it's a war against a powerful group of people.

    March 28, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  11. Peter E

    Of course we're wary... Al Queda is not even in Afghanistan anymore. Thanks to 8 years of systematic neglect and diversion by the Bush administration they had plenty of time to relocate all their operation to our 'ally' Pakistan where we have zero political or military leverage.

    March 28, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  12. Janice

    Since President Obama is a Democrat, the republicans in Washington and across the country find it convienent to cut and run. This nonsense about the troops do not have a clear mission objective is just that. It couldn't be anymore clearer; keep Al Qaida from restablishing this country as a base to launch its attacks from and fight the Taliban. Does anyone else out there besides me want to see this repressive regime in power again to commit horrific acts against women and girls? This is where the fight against terrorism began and this is where it must continue. I for one don't want our troops to be referred to as "paper tigers". It looks like the Republican party and their supporters are nothing but a bunch of paper tigers. Bin Laden at least got that part of what he said years ago right.

    March 28, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Ibelieve we need topull out ofIraq far sooner than planned. Keep out of afghanistan. These 2 events willgrow our economy and fix the dollar far faster than stimulus package

    March 28, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  14. yuri

    U.S should get those blood thisty savages from the murderous mahem makin' muslim men called Talibans and Al qaeda. Until those pugnacious perpetrators from Pakistan are punished severely, U.S. will be partin' with plenty of pecuniary positions of theirs, in order to keep the country peaceful.

    March 28, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  15. annie - Palin 2012

    Where are all the screaming protest and where is the news media – had bush done this they would all be screaming hysterically. Is there any campaign promise that bo made that he has not broken?

    March 28, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  16. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    Bush got our eye off the ball, the goal is to get Bin-Laden&his capos,
    No-one is aloud to attack the United States on our soil and get away with it,I shouldn't be saying this but the troop deployment in Afganistan, & the pressure from Pakistan is designed to force the ,
    Taliban bin-laden,&other Extremist into a "Kill Zone"; problem solved.

    March 28, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  17. Bring This To a Climax and Let's get out of there

    Mr President -

    I'm a liberal that is on your side.

    However, "We have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan," can still be made a more TANGIBLE set of TACTICAL success factors.

    You don't have to enumerate them in public, but it is VITAL that we believe that the success criteria in Afghanistan is stable and does not morph the way George Bush's criteria for going to war, and succeeding at war, in Iraq changed.

    Don't let this drag on. Be in front of the country's impatience. Do not be manipulated by it.

    March 28, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  18. Gilbert

    I'm life long democrat who voted for Pres Obama with no question. I truely believe that the Middle East will go on fighting forever and all that our presence in their wars will do is send American 's home in body bags. Please concentrate on securing our borders and our country from within. We couldn't do it in Vietnam, we won't do it over there.Let them settle their own problem!!

    March 28, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  19. Ula Nejad

    Why should Americans worry. The media helped destroy America. Now you go fix it. America will never win in Afghanistan. Definitely not on Obama's watch. America is technically done. Finito!

    March 28, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  20. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Afghanistan is a third-world country which produces heroin and terrorists who hate Americans and train there. Whether or not we do any nation-building, or catch Bin laden or his top deputies, there will still be al Qaeda and the Taliban and heroin, either there or somewhere else. We have not had any homeland attacks since 9-11, so let's get out of this Muslim hellhole and keep defending ourselves at home, like the Mexican border.

    March 28, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  21. RSB - St George, UT

    Washington needs to call all of our experienced military minds to the table to work out a plan to get this taken care of in the quickest, most efficient way possible. Our troops don't deserve anything less than that, and quite frankly, neither do the innocent Afghani civilians caught in the crossfire. (Roland/St. George, UT)

    March 28, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  22. Gregg

    Making news and not reporting news. Did you stop saying "Obama war"? label?

    March 28, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  23. Simmy

    Americans have every right to be wary of war, considering we were misled about the wars in the beginning. If we had started in Afghanistan with the right strategies, Bid Laden would be dead, and our troops would be home, or not there. The tangled webs of deception have left US holding the bag....

    Now the real fight begins, and Americans are already overwhelmed by the deaths of our troops from both wars. Their deaths were not in vain. They loved, believed in, and honored their country with their bravery and ultimate sacrifice. I thank all of the families of the fallen, for such wonderful individuals. God bless our troops still in harm's way, and their families, and give them continued strength. May President Obama have the forthrightness to target Bin Laden. If he is still alive, he needs to be captured or killed. That action alone will dismantle Al Quaeda (spelling?), and create an opening for the destruction of the world wide trouble makers.

    March 28, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  24. Larry B

    Afghanistan = Vietnam. We need to get out of there ASAP. There is not military victory waiting for us in Afghanistan, and unless we want more American blodd spilt, we need to get out.

    The Russians had easy land access to the country when they waged their war for 10 bloddy years with an Army of over 100,000 – and they could not win and simply left in defeat. And who defeated them? Well, the US Army trained, financed, and supplied weapons to an afghan freedom fighter – his name – Osama Bin Laden. Yes, it was through the help of our military that we helped Osama become famous by defeating the Russians. You'd think we would learn our lesson.

    If Obama continues his escalation, he will create his own Vietnam. And americans are getting too smart to buy into his famous line "I inherited this from Bush" line. We lost over 58,000 american troops in Vietnam before we just left. Obama needs to do the same ASAP.

    March 28, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  25. Matt

    90% of the world's heroin comes from Afghanistan. The enormous profits from the Afghan heroin trade go to tribal war lords, the Taliban, corrupt Afghan politicians, and to Osama Bin Laden, the country;a hero liberator.

    What do we want to support a drug country?

    March 28, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
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