September 2nd, 2009
02:58 PM ET
5 years ago

How long before public demands change in Afghanistan?

U.S. soldiers patrol an area of Afghanistan in July. The U.S. now has about 62,000 troops in the country
U.S. soldiers patrol an area of Afghanistan in July. The U.S. now has about 62,000 troops in the country

WASHINGTON (CNN) - While support for the war in Afghanistan has been falling, most experts think Americans will give President Obama the benefit of the doubt - at least for another year.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Tuesday showed that opposition to the war increased 11 percentage points since April to 57 percent.

Last month was the deadliest for U.S. troops since the war started as retaliation for the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. And the military strategy is still a work in progress, with top commanders using words like "dire" to sum up the current status of the war.

But national security experts think it will still be a while before a clamor arises for a pullout.

Michael O'Hanlon, national security expert at the Brookings Institution, a nonpartisan think tank, said he believes Americans will make a serious assessment at the end of 2010 as to whether a pullout is necessary.

"If we can't show progress by that point, then I think people's patience will start to run out," he said. "It's already running out, but I think people will swallow their doubts and give this strategy time if they are convincingly told why more time is needed and why it would make a difference."

Polls, another expert said, are not an accurate gauge for how long Americans - including politicians - will still support involvement in Afghanistan.

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Filed under: Afghanistan
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Where are all those Allies that Obama was supposed to talk into sending more troops? I thought Mr. Diplomat was going to have them lining up to support us. Maybe he needs to apoliogize some more.

    September 2, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. victim of republican greed

    Bush failed in Afghanistan for 7 years, and after 7 months it is now Obama's war and we haven't won it yet? I am not too happy about putting our military in harm's way in an unnecessary war with Iraq, but even the republican war mongers have to be aware that we are in Afghanistan for their providing a safe haven to those responsible for 9-11.

    September 2, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. victim of republican greed

    I am confident President Obama will have our soldiers home as soon as possible.

    September 2, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. JonDie

    If Iraq teaches us anything, it is that the public will NEVER get it, and we'll continue to fight wars that we shouldn't fight and lose the wars that we should be fighting.

    September 2, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. Mississippi Mike

    Afghanistan is going far worse than Iraq did. Obama will pay heavily for not knowing what he was getting into when he guaranteed a quick and decisive victory in Afghanistan. This will come back to haunt him.

    September 2, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Carl Justus

    We should tell the government of Afghanistan and the people if they want us to stay they will have to join the fight and spill their blood along with ours.

    We should tell the government that they had better start being honest and take charge of the corruption and eliminate it or we will let them work out their problems by themselves or they can be ruled by the terroists they refuse to tell the military about.

    September 2, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. Steph

    Must he immediately solve all of Bushies failures in 7 months??? Before all of you right wing freaks jump all over this...remember, you don't blame Bush for the 9/11 attacks. You still believe Clinton's failures resulted in an attack that occured 7 months into Bush's term. If 9/11 is Clinton's failure then Bush is still responsible for the mess in Afghanistan, the rotten economy, etc... IF you can admit that Bush failed to keep us safe on 9/11, then everything that is happening now is Obama's.

    September 2, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The gameplan may need to change, but the mission is still to defeat Al Queda and their allies where ever they lurk. Personally, I like the use of our Predator Drones and how they are being used in Pakistan. I know collateral damage is a big issue when using drones, but they get the job done. The war must go on!

    September 2, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |