Poll: Half say accelerate pullout from Afghanistan
March 15th, 2012
02:59 PM ET
11 years ago

Poll: Half say accelerate pullout from Afghanistan

Washington (CNN) - Half of the American public says the U.S. should speed up the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, according to a new poll.

A Gallup national survey, released Thursday, also indicates that 24% say the U.S. should stick to the current timetable to pull all troops out by the end of 2014, and 21% say the U.S. should keep a military presence in the war torn country as long as it takes to accomplish its goals.

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The Gallup poll was conducted on Tuesday, following Sunday's killing of 16 civilians in Afghanistan, allegedly during a shooting rampage by a U.S. serviceman. The survey also comes after recent incidents of the burning of Qurans and the urinating on the corpses of Taliban soldiers by some U.S. service members.

A majority of Democrats (53%) and independent voters (54%) questioned in the survey said the U.S. should speed up the troop withdrawal. Republicans were divided, with 40% calling for speeding up the withdrawal and 38% saying troops should stay until the goals of the mission are accomplished.

But nearly six in ten say they still believed sending U.S. forces into Afghanistan in the first place was the right thing to do. That number has held steady in Gallup polling over the past couple of years.

The Gallup poll was conducted March 13, with 1,006 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4% points.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Polls
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. PJ/TX

    Look at that picture! One more visual that says 'bring them home'! God bless their hearts and protect them

    March 15, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    I think that we met our original objective last year on May 1. Afghanistan will always be there, just as it has been for centuries. They will do what they want, when they want, not what and when we want it.

    March 15, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. diridi

    I would say immediately pull out of that third world nation with radicals, and pour money on our Infrastructure, and public transport. Gas companies are looting public. Obama, do it. Obama2012.

    March 15, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. vic , nashville ,tn

    54% independent voters wants to leave Afghan, GOP candidates wants to stay there GOPers don’t get it

    March 15, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It will take decades for them to get a stable government. We are going to be in and out of there for a while. Why do you think it is called the graveyard of nations? So many went in and left with a wounded pride and and a black eye for their lack of ability to conquer the place. We need the Afghanistan government to make sure that a small percentage of the resources there (food grown, minerals mined, etc) should be given to the US as repayment for our troops hard work. The Chinese shouldn't be getting any of the contracts until many American companies turn it down.

    March 15, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. GOP = Greed Over People

    Our original reason for attacking was accomplished when OBL drew his last breath, it is time to leave.

    March 15, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. Ted van Tol

    I agree. Pull out. Cut the budget 50% and support only humanitary organizations. Not one dollar to the political party's.
    We all have seen what a war can do to our soldiers (shooting incident). Only the man and woman who are capable to put ther memorys deep down in themselves can live a "normal" live when they come home. But.... dont leave the Afhans in the cold.

    March 15, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. SuperD

    In spite of the polls, you would never want to do something militarily, like a pullout, based on a poll. I just read an article that says "don't leave the women of Afghanistan to the Taliban" That's is a scary proposition because with the Taliban, just educating women and girls can get you killed.

    March 15, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Time to bring our troops home. Most of as Qaeda leadership is now dead, and we cannot protect Afghan women against the Taliban. Heck, we cannot even protect American women against the republicans.

    March 15, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  10. Dick Cheney is the smegma of mankind

    "we cannot protect Afghan women against the Taliban. Heck, we cannot even protect American women against the republicans.'

    Sadly, that deserves repeating.

    March 15, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    S.B. Stein E.B. NJ wrote:

    "The Chinese shouldn't be getting any of the contracts until many American companies turn it down."
    Too late. The Chinese have already been doing billions of dollars worth of mining annually for years, especially in copper.

    March 15, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  12. The REAL Truth

    It's real simple... it's time for the US to quit being the worlds policeman and "democratic" nation builder (which has not succeeded a SINGLE time BTW) and bring our boys home!
    We are in a country where the locals don't even like their cousins across the valley (never mind the southern, or northern warlords), where the Ruskies (whom are a LOT NASTIER than we are) FAILED miserably to dominate – yet we have the arrogance to believe we can bring "our view of" democracy to a country where the biggest, ugliest nastiest warlord RULES OK ???
    Whose dumb decision was that? Oh yeah, I remember.. Bush(2).

    March 15, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. The REAL Truth

    And.. for those of short(er) than usual memories, the reason Al Qaeda even exists is because we (the USA) was assisting Osama's rebellion against the Russians in Afghanistan both militarily and financially, when on an Administration change, that funding was cut. They were left hanging "high and dry"... ring any bells?

    March 15, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  14. Sorensen

    Obama and his advisors are having to invent more and more complicated and artificial arguments to desparately
    justify staying in that screwed up country. They have to, because if they did not, how could they justify the killing
    of more and more american soldiers. Also, if they got out now, how would they justify all the soldiers killed the last
    6 months? They would have eggs all over their faces.
    Wake up. They already have eggs all over their faces.
    Obama should find a realistic, honest and obviously embarrassing way out now. And take the political fall-out.
    Like a real person, who would like to remain President, would do.
    It would do him and the country good.
    What the clowns in the GOP say is irrelevant, outdated, unrealistc and embarrassing.

    March 15, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  15. Norfleet

    Half of all Americans want to get out of Afganistan? This articel is wrong! I have been reading many, many blogs re: Afganistan – Get out or Stay.
    So far as I can tell this is the 1st time since 9/11 that Americans have been so UNIFIED in their sentiments. The OVERWHELMING opinion in all of these blogs is: "Get Out Now – take everything with us and/or destroy it, and stop all aid, and money IMMEDIATELY!

    IMHO, the 1st Candidate to support that position, and combine it with a promise to bring oil prices back to an affordable rate, will not only win the Repbulican Candidacy but, would also win the Presidency – because Obama will not support either issue.

    It's about time the politicians began to listen to the people who elect them, and stop listening to what the political pundits say about it

    March 15, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Norfleet

    Also, I note that a lot of people on this thread are saying that Republicans are the ones who want to stay. That's not true. I'm a Republican and I absolutely believe we should leave immediately. We cannot go on trying to be the worlds policemen. Some Republicans are so far right they are almost left, just as some Democrats are so far left they are almost right. There isn't much difference between a Socialist and a Faciaist. Most Republicans I know are somewhere in the middle, just like me. Unfortunately, the far right seems to be controling the party right now because we are not vocal enough. It's our own fault.

    March 15, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    and if President Obama does just that you can BET there will be those on the right that will complain about it. Well just get used to it because these men and women are better needed here than over there.

    March 15, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  18. Eri

    A lot of very smart comments on this blog! Let me just add this: We can't realistically pull out of Afghanistan COMPLETELY...at least not yet. If we did, Al Qaeda would be back in there faster than you can say "Republicans are dumb hypocrites."
    For the forseeable future, the U.S. needs to retain a residual troop presence in Afghanistan.

    March 15, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |