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(12/04/09) -

Canadians Decline Expanded Role in Afghanistan

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – People in Canada believe their country should not commit more soldiers to the war in Afghanistan, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 66 per cent of respondents agree with this rationale.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – People in Canada believe their country should not commit more soldiers to the war in Afghanistan, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 66 per cent of respondents agree with this rationale.

Overall support for the military mission stands at 42 per cent, up five points since October.

Afghanistan has been the main battleground in the war on terrorism. The conflict began in October 2001, after the Taliban regime refused to hand over Osama bin Laden without evidence of his participation in the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Al-Qaeda operatives hijacked and crashed four airplanes on Sept. 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people.

At least 1,525 soldiers—including 133 Canadians—have died in the war on terrorism, either in support of the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom or as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

On Dec. 1, U.S. president Barack Obama officially introduced his strategy for Afghanistan, which includes the deployment of about 30,000 additional soldiers in the next few weeks.

On Dec. 2, Canadian foreign minister Lawrence Cannon declared: "Canada welcomes the additional military and civilian resources the U.S. will deploy to Afghanistan, in particular to the south. This will allow Canada to further concentrate its efforts on its priorities and signature projects."

Polling Data

Overall, do you support or oppose the military operation involving Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan?

 

Dec. 2009

Oct. 2009

Jul. 2009

Support

42%

37%

43%

Oppose

53%

56%

52%

Not sure

5%

6%

5%

As you may know, the United States and Britain have outlined plans to send more soldiers to Afghanistan in the next few weeks. From what you have seen, read or heard about this, would you support or oppose Canada committing more soldiers to the war in Afghanistan?

Support

28%

Oppose

66%

Not sure

6%

Source: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Methodology: Online interviews with 1,006 Canadian adults, conducted on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2, 2009. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.

Complete Poll (PDF)