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afghan_view
(12/06/09) -

Germans Mount Pressure on Afghan Withdrawal

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The proportion of people in Germany wanting a full withdrawal of troops serving in Afghanistan has significantly increased, according to a poll by Infratest-Dimap released by ARD. 69 per cent of respondents support bringing all the troops back from Afghanistan, up 12 points since September.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The proportion of people in Germany wanting a full withdrawal of troops serving in Afghanistan has significantly increased, according to a poll by Infratest-Dimap released by ARD. 69 per cent of respondents support bringing all the troops back from Afghanistan, up 12 points since September.

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 31 Germans—have died in the conflict, either in support of the United States-led Operation Enduring Freedom or as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

On Nov. 26, Wolfgang Schneiderhan, the German army’s chief of staff, tendered his resignation after it became known that more than 30 Afghan civilians died in a botched air strike involving German soldiers. German defence minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said that Schneiderhan had "released himself from his duties at his own request."

On Dec. 3, German lawmakers approved the extension of the military mission in Afghanistan for one more year. However, a cap that limits the number of troops that can serve in that country was maintained at 4,500 soldiers.

Polling Data

Do you support or oppose withdrawing German troops from Afghanistan?

 

Dec. 2009

Sept. 2009

Yes

69%

57%

No

27%

30%

Source: Infratest-Dimap / ARD
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,000 German adults, conducted on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2009. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.