WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The findings of a recent Gallup poll suggest that, for the first time in the entirety of the United States’ involvement in conflict in Afghanistan, 49 percent of Americans feel the nation’s decision to go to war there was a mistake.
In 2001, when Americans first became involved in Afghanistan, the vast majority of people throughout the country were in favor of the war.
“Gallup first asked Americans about U.S. intervention in Afghanistan in November 2001, just after the U.S. sent armed forces into that country in an effort to retaliate against those who had harbored the al Qaeda terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks,” a release on the poll’s findings states. “At that point, fewer than one in 10 Americans said U.S. involvement there was a mistake – the most positive assessment of any war since Gallup first asked the “mistake” question during the Korean War in 1950.”
Over time, however, support has waned. Now, the most recent polls show that an unprecedented but slim majority – 49 percent – feel the call to enter the war in Afghanistan was ultimately a bad decision. Forty-eight percent of respondents felt it was not a mistake.
“For the first time since the U.S. initially became involved in Afghanistan in 2001, Americans are as likely to say U.S. military involvement there was a mistake as to say it was not,” the release noted.
Researchers additionally found that conservative Americans were more supportive of war efforts in the Middle-Eastern nation, while more liberal Americans were more likely to be against the war.
Those involved in the study feel that the 12-year span of the war – which makes it the longest American war to date – has contributed to the growing lack of support it has among the American populace.
“… Americans’ waning patience with the conflict has finally reached the point at which Americans are as likely to say the war was a mistake as to say it was not,” the release noted, adding that citizens’ true assessment of the war’s success may not be seen until after it ends.
Gallup pollsters noted, “The Obama administration plans to draw down the number of troops in Afghanistan significantly by the end of this year. Once that happens, and the war essentially ends, Americans’ assessments of whether intervention was a mistake will largely depend on the political course Afghanistan takes, including whether terrorist cells are able to regroup there.”
The most recent poll on the matter was conducted between Feb. 6 and Feb. 9 of this year, and involved 1,023 randomly selected American adults.