Tags: poll | obama | afghanistan

Poll: Majority Says Afghanistan Becoming a Vietnam

Tuesday, 20 Oct 2009 02:21 PM

By Rick Pedraza

Afghanistan is turning into President Barack Obama’s Vietnam War, according to a new national poll conducted by CNN/Opinion Research Corp.

The poll, conducted over the weekend, shows a majority of those surveyed (52 percent) said the eight-year conflict in Afghanistan is bearing a resemblance to the quagmire the United States found itself in during the Vietnam War, which lasted 16 years.

Nearly six out of 10 Americans (59 percent) are against sending more troops into the region, the poll shows, at a time when Obama is considering sending as many as 40,000 more troops into the war-torn country. Forty-six percent disagree that Afghanistan is turning into Obama’s Vietnam.

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Other results from the poll show:

  • Thirty-nine percent oppose sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan with 39 percent in favor.

  • Twenty-eight percent want Washington to withdraw all U.S troops.

  • Twenty-one percent want a partial American pullout of U.S. troops.

  • Eight percent say the number of troops should remain the same.

  • Two-thirds say it is unlikely Afghanistan will have stable government in the next few years.

  • Two-thirds say it is unlikely the Afghan military and police will be able to keep their country safe and secure from terrorists without American assistance.

  • Two-thirds say U.S. forces are necessary in Afghanistan to prevent terrorist attacks on the United States.

  • Two-thirds say the conflict in Afghanistan is part of the war on terror which began with 9/11.

    "Has Afghanistan turned into Barack Obama's Vietnam? Most Americans think so,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland concluded from the poll’s results. “That may be one reason why they oppose sending more U.S. troops to that country. Older Americans are most likely to see parallels between Afghanistan and Vietnam, possibly because they remember the Vietnam War, rather than reading about it in textbooks."

    But Massachusetts Democrat Sen. John Kerry, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a Vietnam War veteran, said he does not see parallels between the war in Afghanistan and that of Vietnam.

    “This is not Vietnam, in many respects,” Kerry said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

    “We are here in Afghanistan because people attacked us here in the most significant attack against the United States since Pearl Harbor,” Kerry said. “We are here because there are still people at large who are plotting against the United States of America, and we are here because the stability of this region is a critical strategic interest to the United States. The basic assumptions here are very, very different from what we experienced years ago in Vietnam.”

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