Americans are almost evenly divided in supporting or rejecting the war.

Support for the military operation involving American soldiers in Afghanistan has slightly dropped in two months, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,002 American adults, 47 per cent of respondents express support for the operation, down three points since June. Rejection to the mission is relatively stable at 42 per cent.

The Mission

The proportion of people in the United States who think that engaging the military in Afghanistan was a mistake has risen from 32 per cent in June to 37 per cent now.

Over half of respondents (52%) admit that they do not know what war in Afghanistan is all about, whereas 48 per cent say they do.

When the War is Over

The expectations of Americans about how the Afghan war will eventually be resolved remain rather negative: a fifth of Americans (20%) say the U.S. military will achieve a clear victory over the Taliban; a quarter (24%) think there will be 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 eight per cent think the U.S. army will simply be defeated. Over a third of respondents (36%) are just not sure.

Obama’s Plan

As support for the Afghan war has dwindled, so has confidence in the administration of President Barack Obama to “finish the job” successfully. The proportion of Americans expressing little or no confidence in Obama on this file has increased from 60 per cent in June to 65 per cent now.

The Media and the Government

Over a third of Americans (35%) continue to think that the country’s media has failed in providing enough information about the war in Afghanistan. Three-in-ten respondents (31%) think it has devoted the right amount of coverage to it, down six points since June.

Most respondents are also dissatisfied with the government’s openness about the mission: 53 per cent of Americans says the federal administration has provided too little information about the war. Only a fifth of respondents think the amount of information available has been appropriate.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)


Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs
+877 730 3570

Methodology: From August 4 to August 5, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,002 American adults who are Springboard America 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 a sample representative of the entire adult population of the United States.