Gallup Poll: More Americans Now Believe Afghan War Was a Mistake

Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 12:05 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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More Americans now believe that the war in Afghanistan was a mistake than those who believe it was a good idea, according to a new poll.

The Gallup survey found for the first time since the war began in 2001 that more people were against the war than in favor by a margin of 49 percent to 48 percent.

Following the attacks in the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001, Americans sent troops to Afghanistan to oust the Taliban who were sheltering al-Qaida terrorists and their leader Osama bin Laden.

When Gallup first surveyed Americans shortly after the fighting began, less than 10 percent thought that sending in troops was wrong.

The Obama administration is planning to pull out the remaining American troops from Afghanistan at the end of the year.

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The U.S. has asked the Afghanistan's government to allow 10,000 counter-terrorism troops in the country to prevent the Taliban gaining a strong foothold in the region again, but President Hamid Karzai has been reluctant to agree to the plans.

The poll also revealed that Gallup researchers in Afghanistan had found that Afghans rate their lives as poorly in several areas as residents of any country in the world.

"These findings may suggest that U.S. involvement in that country was not a success from the Afghan people's perspective, although it is not clear what Afghans' attitudes were before the war began," according to a statement on Gallup's website.

The poll of 1,023 U.S. adults had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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