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(06/16/10) -

Americans Want Government to Provide More Information on Afghanistan

Half of respondents support the military operation, while 43 per cent are opposed to it.

Half of respondents support the military operation, while 43 per cent are opposed to it.

Half of Americans continue to support the military effort in Afghanistan, while opposition to the conflict has grown slightly since May, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,004 American adults, 50 per cent of respondents (-1 since May) express support for the Afghan mission, whereas 43 per cent (+4) oppose it.

The Mission

Opposition to the military operation in Afghanistan remains higher in the Midwest (51%), while respondents in the South (53%) and the West (51%) are more inclined to support it.

Two-in-five Americans (40%) think the government did the right thing in sending troops to Afghanistan in the first place, but almost a third (32%) disagree and say the deployment that it was a mistake.

Half of respondents (50%) acknowledge they do not have a clear idea of what the Afghan war is all about.

When the War is Over

Since the beginning of this year, Americans have been skeptical about the outcome of the conflict in Afghanistan. About a fifth of respondents (22%) believe the end of the war will bring a clear victory by the United States and its allows; 25 per cent foresee a negotiated settlement with the Taliban resulting in their limited participation in the government; 10 per cent think it will look more like a negotiation resulting in the Taliban playing a major role in an eventual government; and six per cent think the U.S. and its allies will simply be defeated.

Obama’s Plan

People across the country also remain doubtful of the current government’s ability to end the war successfully. Only three-in-ten Americans (30%) trust that U.S. President Barack Obama will “finish the job”, whereas twice that number (60%) express little or no confidence in his administration on this particular issue.

The Media and the Government

A third of Americans (34%) continue to think that the country’s media has failed to provide enough information about the war in Afghanistan—37 per cent think it has devoted the right amount of coverage to it.

Meanwhile, a majority of respondents (52%) believe that the government has given too little information to the American people about this particular war. The proportion of Americans who agree with this notion has increased significantly since April, from 45 per cent to 52 per cent.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

CONTACT:

Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs
+877 730 3570
mario.canseco@angus-reid.com

From June 8 to June 9, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,004 randomly selected American adults who are Springboard USA panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of the United States. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.