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war_terrorism
(08/18/07) -

Britons Upset with Afghanistan Mission

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Few adults in Britain believe their country’s commitment to Afghanistan is proceeding adequately, according to a poll by YouGov published in the Daily Telegraph. Only six per cent of respondents think British troops are winning the war with the Taliban.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Few adults in Britain believe their country’s commitment to Afghanistan is proceeding adequately, according to a poll by YouGov published in the Daily Telegraph. Only six per cent of respondents think British troops are winning the war with the Taliban.

Conversely, 39 per cent of respondents think victory is possible in Afghanistan, while 36 per cent believe a triumph is unattainable.

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, prime suspect 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.

Britain committed troops to both the war on terrorism in Afghanistan and the U.S.-led coalition effort in Iraq. At least 649 soldiers—including 70 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 Aug. 16, British ambassador to Afghanistan Sherard Cowper-Coles said the country is important for the government of British prime minister Gordon Brown, adding, “It matters to us because a high proportion of the terrorism investigations in the United Kingdom can be traced back to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area.” 65 per cent of respondents would withdraw all troops from Afghanistan, either immediately or within the next year or so.

Polling Data

Do you think British troops are winning the war with the Taliban in Afghanistan, or not?

Yes, the British troops are winning

6%

No, they are not winning yet, but victory is possible eventually

39%

No, they are not winning, and victory is not possible

36%

Don’t know

18%

Should British troops be brought home from Afghanistan?

Yes—all troops should be withdrawn immediately

28%

Yes—most troops should be withdrawn soon, and
the rest within the next year or so

37%

No—British troops should remain in Afghanistan
as long as Afghanistan’s government wants them there

25%

Don’t know

10%

Source: YouGov / Daily Telegraph
Methodology: Online interviews with 1,966 British adults, conducted on Aug. 9 and Aug. 10, 2007. No margin of error was provided.