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(06/16/10) -

Support for Afghan Mission at 38% in Britain

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Public backing for the military mission in Afghanistan increased this month in Britain, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 38 per cent of respondents support the operation involving UK soldiers, up six points since April.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Public backing for the military mission in Afghanistan increased this month in Britain, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 38 per cent of respondents support the operation involving UK soldiers, up six points since April.

A majority of respondents—55 per cent—are opposed to the mission.

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 1,834 soldiers—including 298 Britons—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 May 6, British voters participated in a General Election. The Conservative Party finished in first place with 36.1 per cent of the vote and 305 seats, followed by the Labour Party with 29 per cent and 258 seats, and the Liberal Democrats with 23 per cent and 57 seats. Conservative leader David Cameron took over as prime minister in a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, ending 13 years of Labour rule.

On Jun. 14, Cameron discussed the state of affairs in Afghanistan, saying, "We need a political process to help bring the insurgency to an end. When we have succeeded in enabling the Afghans to take control of their own security, our troops can begin to come home."

Polling Data

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

 

Jun. 2010

Apr. 2010

Feb. 2010

Nov. 2009

Support

38%

32%

38%

36%

Oppose

55%

59%

52%

56%

Not sure

7%

9%

10%

8%

Source: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Methodology: Online interviews with 2,003 British adults, conducted from Jun. 4 to Jun. 7, 2010. Margin of error is 2.2 per cent.

Complete Poll (PDF)