Poll: Afghans Losing Faith in US, Increasingly Back Insurgents

Growing Support for Negotiated Settlement

by Jason Ditz, December 06, 2010

A new poll conducted by a myriad of international media outlets, including ABC News, BBC, ARD and the Washington Post showed huge pessimism amongst Afghans, a strong trends moving against support for the US occupation forces and in favor of supporting the insurgency.

The poll shows confidence in the NATO occupation eventually being successful down to only 36 percent, from 48 percent last year, and only 43 percent view the US favorably, the lowest in six years.

Perhaps the bigger concern, however is that the view toward the Taliban is moving the other way. Last year, only 8 percent of Afghans saw terror attacks as justified. This year, that number climbed to 27 percent. A plurality also generally blamed the US and NATO for civilian deaths, 35 percent.

In the end the figures likely speak more to war-weariness than anything as a whopping 73% supported a negotiated settlement with the Taliban, the largest number yet.

The poll results come a year after the most recent US escalation of the war, and point to popular opinion in Afghanistan getting precipitously worse, even as Pentagon officials emphasize the need to secure popular support to win the conflict. The escalation, it seems, is eroding that support.

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