For the first time in three years, a majority of Americans voice opposition to the mission in Afghanistan, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,012 American adults, 52 per cent of respondents oppose the military operation involving American soldiers in Afghanistan, while 38 per cent support it. Since February 2010, support for the mission has fallen by 16 points, while opposition has risen by 14 points.

Respondents in the Northeast (59%), women (53%) and Americans over the age of 55 (56%) are more likely to voice opposition to the Afghanistan military operation, along with Independents (65%) and Democrats (55%).

Americans are evenly split when assessing the decision to start the mission, with 38 per cent thinking the United States made a mistake in sending military forces to Afghanistan, and 38 per cent believing it did the right thing.

Only about two-in-five Americans (38%) are “very confident” or “moderately confident” that the Obama Administration will be able to “finish the job” in Afghanistan. Republicans (73%) and Independents (60%) are particularly skeptical about the way the current government will deal with this issue.

Only one-in-five Americans (19%) expect a clear military victory by U.S. and allied forces over the Taliban, while three-in-ten (31%) believe the world will see negotiated settlement from a position of U.S. and allied strength that gives the Taliban a small role in the Afghan government.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)


Mario Canseco, Vice President, Angus Reid Public Opinion
+877 730 3570

Methodology: From March 21 to March 22, 2012, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,012 randomly selected 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. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.