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(04/22/10) -

Only a Third of Britons Support the Military Mission in Afghanistan

Three-in-five respondents oppose the war and believe it was a mistake to deploy troops in the first place.

Three-in-five respondents oppose the war and believe it was a mistake to deploy troops in the first place.

Public opposition to the military mission in Afghanistan has grown in Britain and three-in-five respondents think the troop deployment was a mistake, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

The online survey of a representative national sample of 2,006 British adults also reveals that half of Britons believe the UK Government has not provide enough information about the conflict.

The Mission

This month, 32 per cent of respondents (down six points since February) say they support the military operation involving UK soldiers in Afghanistan, while 59 per cent are opposed (up seven points).

Three-in-five (60%, +5) believe the country made a mistake in sending military forces to Afghanistan. Also, half of Britons (50%, -3) say they have a clear idea of what the war in Afghanistan is about.

When The War is Over

When asked about what they think will be the most likely outcome of the conflict in Afghanistan, 12 per cent of Britons foresee a clear victory by U.S. and allied forces over the Taliban, and 32 per cent expect a negotiated settlement from a position of U.S. and allied strength that gives the Taliban a small role in the Afghan government.

In addition, 16 per cent of respondents predict a negotiated settlement from a position of U.S. and allied weakness that gives the Taliban a significant role in the Afghan government, and nine per cent believe the Taliban will defeat of U.S. and allied forces.

Obama’s Plan

Three-in-ten Britons (29%, -5) are very or moderately confident that the Obama Administration will be able to “finish the job” in Afghanistan, while a majority (57%, +2) are not too confident or not confident at all.

The Media and the Government

Most people in Britain appear content with the way the country’s media outlets have covered the ongoing conflict. A majority of respondents (52%, -2) claim that the media in the UK has provided the right amount of attention to Afghanistan, while 15 per cent think it has been too little, and 17 per cent say it has been too much.

Only three-in-ten Britons (28%, -1) think the UK Government has provided the right amount of information about the war in Afghanistan, while half (50%, +3) think it has been too little.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Download Full Methodology Statement

Download Full Tables

CONTACT:

Andy Morris, Research Director, London
+ 44-207-065-7272
andy.morris@angus-reid.com

Methodology: From April 9 to April 12, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 2,006 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of Great Britain. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.