(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Public support for the military deployment in Afghanistan has fallen this month in Britain, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 32 per cent of respondents back the operation involving UK soldiers, down six points since February.

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 1,720 soldiers—including 281 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).

British voters will take part in a General Election on May 6.

On Apr. 21, Conservative leader David Cameron discussed his views on the conflict, saying, "The strategy which has been in place since the end of last year is, I believe, broadly the right one; we must give it the necessary time and support to succeed. That is how we can continue to reverse the Taliban’s momentum, build up the Afghan armed forces, and create the conditions for transition to Afghan control. Where we need to go further and faster is in ensuring the right balance of troops across Helmand and in forging a new political settlement."

Polling Data

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

 

 

Apr. 2010

Feb. 2010

Nov. 2009

Support

32%

38%

36%

Oppose

59%

52%

56%

Not sure

9%

10%

8%

Source: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Methodology: Online interviews with 2,006 British adults, conducted from Apr. 9 to Apr. 12, 2010. Margin of error is 2.2 per cent.

Complete Poll (PDF)