Poll: Support up for troop increase in Afghanistan
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.
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.
Photo Credit: Reuters/ Omar Sobhani (U.S. troops on patrol in Kandahar city 10/26/09)