Tuesday Mar 08, 201107:27 PM GMT
Poll: Most Americans want troops out of Afghanistan in a year
Tue Mar 8, 2011 7:27PM
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A new poll has found that the majority of Americans want all U.S. troops withdrawn from Afghanistan within one year.


The polling firm Rasmussen, whose surveys are often accused of having a decidedly conservative tilt, finds that for the first time, a majority of likely voters want the U.S. government to set a timetable to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan within one year. Huffingtonpost



The telephone survey finds that 31% of likely U.S. voters now say all troops should be brought home from Afghanistan immediately, while another 21% say a firm timetable should be established to bring all troops home within a year's time. rasmussenreports


The combined total of 52% who want the troops home within a year is a nine-point jump from 43% last September. Just 37% felt that way in September 2009. rasmussenreports


This time frame is considerably more accelerated than the one set forth by President Obama. The current plan is for the U.S. military to begin withdrawing troops in July 2011 and then end combat operations in 2014. rasmussenreports


Republicans have traditionally been more supportive than Democrats of continuing the mission in Afghanistan, but now 37% of GOP voters favor bringing home the troops within a year, compared to 24% six months ago. rasmussenreports


Rasmussen also finds in the survey, which was conducted March 4-5, that 41 percent of Americans are unsure whether the U.S. mission in Afghanistan will be judged a success. Just 27 percent are sure it will be. Huffingtonpost




On March 7, 2011, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that Washington will keep its troops in Afghanistan beyond President Barack Obama's 2014 deadline which is supposed to complete the withdrawal of US forces from war-torn country.


"Obviously it would be a small fraction of the presence that we have today, but I think we're willing to do that," Gates said. BBC


Gates remarks come as the war is in its 10th year, civilian casualties are at an all-time high, and the population has grown weary of the fighting. BBC


The Afghanistan war was not authorized by the United Nations Security Council and many experts call it illegal under international law.


By the end of 2010, the war had resulted in 2,281 coalition casualties, including 1,445 American deaths. US fatalities in 2010 (711) accounted for nearly half of all US deaths since the war began over nine years ago. 


There is no accurate figure for the number of civilians killed in the war. Official data from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) shows that over 7,000 civilians have been killed since the start of 2007.


More than 1,000 Afghan civilians were killed in armed violence and security incidents in the first six months of 2010, ARM report said. BBC


Violence in Afghanistan is now at its worst since the conflict began in 2001, the ARM report said. BBC


The Commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan General David Petraeus has shocked the Afghan nation by claiming that Afghans caught up in a recent coalition attack in the northeast of the country deliberately burned their children to death to raise the civilian death count. rawa.org


An average of two children were killed a day in Afghanistan last year, with areas of the once peaceful north now among the most dangerous, Afghanistan Rights Monitor said in February. BBC


Several hundred villagers protested on March 2 against coalition strikes that they said killed scores of civilians this week in Kunar. cns


The demonstrators shouted "Stop the airstrikes on civilians," said Gen. Khalilullah Ziayi, the police chief in Kunar province. cns


Hundreds of people also marched through Kabul to protest U.S. military operations and demanded the withdrawal of foreign troops. cbc



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