Poll: Support up for troop increase in Afghanistan

October 28, 2009

Public support for sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan is on the rise, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released on Tuesday. The poll finds 47 percent of Americans favor boosting the troop level in Afghanistan, compared to 43 percent who are opposed to the idea.

afghanAn NBC/WSJ poll in September found 51 percent opposed to a troop increase, while 44 percent supported it.

Other recent opinion polls have shown lagging public support for the war and members of President Barack Obama’s own Democratic Party are divided over whether to send more troops.

Right now, there are  65,000 U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan as part of a 100,000 strong NATO-led force. The size of the U.S. contingent is expected to reach 68,000 later this year.

Obama is considering whether to send up to 40,000 more troops. His decision is expected any day now. Former Vice President Dick Cheney and other critics say he’s taking too long to reach a decision. Cheney accused Obama of “dithering” over a strategy review and said he needed to send more troops right away.

If the poll is accurate,  a majority of Americans don’t mind the time Obama is taking to review the U.S. strategy in the eight-year-old war.  The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found 58 percent of respondents support delaying a decision until after Afghanistan’s runoff presidential election on Nov. 7, when U.S. officials may have a better handle on  Kabul’s political situation.

The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll of 1,009 adults was conducted Oct. 22-25 and has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Click here for more Reuters political news.

Photo Credit: Reuters/ Omar Sobhani (U.S. troops on patrol in Kandahar city 10/26/09)


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We are ten months into the Obama tenure, when is he going to help our troops?

Posted by Camron Barth | Report as abusive

Nice to know that whole anti-war movement was nothing but a big lie.

Warmongering, death and destruction are ok with Obama at the helm.

Does anyone in this country still vote on any principles?

Posted by Michael Ham | Report as abusive

We are fighting the Taliban. The election should not matter. Send the additional troops now and stop dithering.

Posted by William Richard | Report as abusive

Surely this escalation of the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan is not what people expected.The impression that was given was that neo cons like me would be obsolete in the new Obama world order.This is what happens when there is an insipidly weak leader running a country.We saw this with Nevile Chamberlain,fortunately there was Wintson Churchill who was able to step up to the mark.You had the liberal elitists in that era as well,when war broke out they high tailed it to America.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

“Does anyone in this country still vote on any principles?”

According to the article, yes. Around 47% and growing.

Posted by JohnisGood | Report as abusive


I’m not talking about voting on principle in polls, who cares about that. I’m talking about all the people who pretended to be anti-war and voted for our current president. Even McCain talked about not wanting to spread the warmongering into Pakistan on the campaign trail (not that having either one makes any difference to me as you know).

Posted by Michael Ham | Report as abusive

hi Micheal, this is my list,people hate America,people hated Bush,people feared Bush.the same people hate America,the don,t necessary hate Obama,THEY DON,T FEAR OBAMA.that is why we are,and expecting escalation in the terrorism against us.The enemies who keep their heads down when Bush was around,will again engage in causing us problems.We have now what Bin Laden described as a soft stomach ready to be attacked again.To me this is a fact of life,the bombing yesterday in pakistan targeting women and children in response to Obama,s representative ,Clinton is a reminder that these evil people do not respond to an appeasement mentality.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Well, perhaps that indicates that not everyone who voted for Obama was anti-war.

Or more likely, simply represents that there are not nearly as many anti-war supporters in America as anti-war people think.

I clearly didn’t vote for Obama, but I clearly saw that he wasn’t anti-war. And I didn’t really expect him to be anti-war.

Simply because I paid attention to what he and his party actually said during pre-election, something many Obama supporters probably didn’t do.

If Obama had pledged to immediately pull out of Iraq and Afganistan unilaterally if elected, for example, I doubt he would have even made candidate selection. Let alone win an election.

So yes, there is very little difference between the Democrats and the Republicans on most foreign policy issues. As I am a pro-war republican, that suits me fine. Losing the election was almost as good as winning.

With the additional bonus that Obama’s healthcare misadventures and inexperience may very well give the Republicans another chance at government in a few years.

Posted by JohnisGood | Report as abusive


You’re right most of America is pro-war, but a lot of them will lie and pretend to be anti-war just in order to get their candidate elected.

People are usually just anti-theotherpoliticalparty’swar

If you can make that out lol.

Posted by Michael Ham | Report as abusive

I am astonished at the lack of rationality and facts on this blog. Can anyone offer justification for your opinions? Not only has our war destroyed what remained of the country after the Russian invasion, occupation and pull-out, but Pakistan now is being further corrupted and destroyed.

After spending $864 billion in Afghanistan since 9/11 to catch Osama bin Laden, he is still sending out videos, the last one three days ago. The ”elected” leader is as corrupt as ever, and his drug-lord brother is also getting big bucks from the CIA, as are other heroin lords.
More and more U.S. are being killed in combat, and thousands of innocents (women children, non-combat rural people) are killed as ”collateral damage.”

What is the justification for this blood bath, other than trying to outfox Russia and China so we can gain or keep control of energy resources?

I urge those of you on this list to visit the BBC website, the Guardian website, various U.S. government websites that report spending on Afghanistan…and to consider whether you are willing to go NOW as an infantryman into this killer of empires from Alexander the Great forward.
Take a look at today’s Vietnam, a prosperous nation following the Chinese model of capitalistic communism that sends students to the US to study, encourages private enterprise and otherwise prospers I predict that Afghanistan, like Vietman, can right its own house far better than non-Muslim foreigners.

Posted by Lmontgom | Report as abusive

It wouldn’t take much for the Taliban to drive the poll numbers down. A few more suicide attacks on US troops, a few more body bags coming back home and the support will all the way down. Can USA takes damage without a public outcry?

Posted by Lim Boon Chuan | Report as abusive