Though the trend could hardly be called a surprise given the number of massive protests held in the wake of the assorted civilian killings in the past several months, a poll conducted by the Afghan Center for Socio-Economic and Opinion Research has revealed the extent to which the populace has lost faith in the over seven year long military mission.
In the last three plus years, opinion of the United States dropped nearly in half, from 83 percent support in the 2005 poll to just 47 percent. NATO’s approval rating was 37 percent, while President Hamid Karzai, faced with an election at some point this year, has dipped from 83 percent to 52 percent.
The air strikes are likely a big part of the dwindling support for international forces. Serious incidents in late 2008 killed scores of Afghan civilians, enraging the populace and driving a wedge between NATO and Karzai. 79 percent of Afghans feel the air strikes are unacceptable.