Mounting Casualties Leave British Questioning Afghan War

New Poll Shows Massive Opposition to Continued War

The British military’s ongoing participation in the war in Afghanistan took another hit today when it was revealed that the Babaji area of Helmand Province, in which four British soldiers died just ahead of the election, saw only 150 votes cast out of tens of thousands of eligible voters.

It wasn’t lost on the British media, which noted that with 37 killed and 150 wounded since early July when the operation began, Britain suffered more than one casualty per vote. The news was hardly welcome as Prime Minister Gordon Brown continues to try, unsuccessfully, to sell the war to a war-weary public.

In fact a new poll by the Daily Mail showed that 69 percent of British voters now oppose the war, and only 1.5 percent think that Brown is handling the conflict “very well.” The poll shows a distinct contrast with the nation’s politicians, as the ruling Labor Party remains committed to the war and the opposition Conservative Party, widely expected to take power in the next vote, has promised to escalate it even more.

Britain’s incoming military chief even said he expected the war could last another 40 years, though he later insisted that he didn’t mean it would go on in its present form for that long. If the polling trend continues, it’s hard to imagine the British people standing for another 40 years of war in any form.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.