On March 11, a Washington Post-ABC News poll showed one of the strongest opposition sentiments toward the Afghan War since the 2001 invasion. Today, a New York Times-CBS News poll has showed the trend continuing strongly, recording a new all-time high for opposition.
Now, fully 69 percent of Americans feel that the US “should not be involved” in the ongoing occupation of Afghanistan, with only 23 percent feeling that the administration is “doing the right thing” by keeping the war going.
The poll also showed a trend against the claims that the war had been “mostly a success,” with the number dropping from 39 percent in September to just 27 percent today. The data showed strong opposition across party lines, and independents were the least likely to feel the war was a “success.”
Ambassador Ryan Crocker took the same position that the administration has been throughout the past several years, insisting that there was “significant headway” being made and warning against war fatigue.
War fatigue clearly explains some of the popular opposition to the occupation, as indeed it would be any time one is 11 years into an occupation with no clear exit strategy in sight. The recent swell of opposition however seems more fueled by what a high profile disaster the once “forgotten war” has become. In the past few weeks US troops have been caught holding an organized burning of religious books and carried out a massacre. The claims of progress may be the default answer, but selling that claim to anybody now appears to be an exercise in futility.