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Support for Afghanistan war wanes

From NBC’s Kevin Hurd and Domenico Montanaro
Gen. David Petraeus touted “significant” security progress in Afghanistan in a congressional hearing on Capitol Hill. He cautioned those gains are “fragile and reversible.”

“Moreover, it is clear that much difficult work lies ahead with our Afghan partners to solidify and expand our gains in the face of the expected Taliban spring offensive,” Petraeus said. But the “hard-fought” gains “have enabled the joint Afghan-NATO Transition Board to recommend the initiation this spring of transition to Afghan lead in several provinces.”

But an ABC News/Washington Post poll out today shows support for the near decade long war is dimming.

According to the poll, almost two-thirds – 64% -- say the war is not worth fight; 31% say it is. In addition, almost half -- 49% -- say they feel "strongly" that the war is not worth fighting. The opposition is a sharp change from early 2010, the last time a majority said the war was worth fighting.

In addition, about 73% said the U.S. should begin withdrawing a substantial amount of its combat forces from Afghanistan by the summer. But about 39% think that will actually happen.


In the January NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, just 12% said the war has gotten better over the last three months, 18% said it has gotten worse, and 64% said it has stayed the same. That compares to March 2010 when 25% said it has gotten better, 22% said it has gotten worse and about half said it has stayed the same.

And with 2012 right around the corner, the Washington Post makes this point: "His [the president] approach to the Afghan war has not won over the independents or liberal Democrats who propelled his campaign two years ago...." And: "[T]he results suggest that the war will be an awkward issue for the president as he looks for ways to end it."