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Obama agenda: Public split on troops

According to a new Washington Post/ABC poll, 47% support sending more troops into Afghanistan, while 49% oppose it. "A day after Afghan President Hamid Karzai agreed to a runoff election -- following an investigation by an international panel that found pervasive irregularities in the first round of voting -- the poll showed that two-thirds of the U.S. public also considers the election deeply flawed, with evidence of widespread fraud. That negative appraisal was generally consistent across party and ideological lines."

More: "As the administration's review continues, 57 percent of those polled approve of how Obama is carrying out his duties as commander in chief, but confidence in his leadership on the Afghan war has eroded since the spring. In previous polls, Obama received some of his highest ratings in relation to his dealings with Afghanistan, including 63 percent approval in April of his handling of the situation there. In the latest poll, 45 percent approve, down 10 percentage points in the past month alone, and 47 percent disapprove, an increase of 10 points. Nearly a third of those surveyed say they strongly disapprove." 

: Is support waining for the Afghan war? Newsweek's Jon Meacham and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin join the Morning Joe gang to discuss the state of the conflict.

The Wall Street Journal looks at the role that John Kerry has played regarding Afghanistan. "U.S. and Western officials said the Obama administration latched on to Sen. Kerry as a key broker. In June, he played a similar role in the Obama administration's efforts to build bridges to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to Syrian and U.S. officials. Sen. Kerry was first drawn into the vote fraud crisis Friday when, at a dinner with U.S. troops from Massachusetts, Mr. Eikenberry pulled him aside and told him of fears Mr. Karzai would denounce findings by U.N.-led election investigators of widespread fraud."

The Boston Globe adds, "Kerry's successful talks, which ranged from broad issues of legitimacy to discussions of the statistical analysis used to disqualify ballots, appeared to be his most significant accomplishment since taking over the chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this year, replacing Joe Biden."

Out of Iraq? "President Obama vowed again Tuesday to withdraw all U.S. combat troops from Iraq next year, saying elections in 2010 will prop up the fledgling democracy. 'We will have our combat troops out of Iraq by August of next year and all of our troops out of Iraq by 2011,' Obama said at an Oval Office meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki."