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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

SURVEY: Seventeen Years On, Americans—Including Veterans—Want Out of Afghanistan

The Charles Koch Institute

Seventeen years since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, a new poll reveals that Americans question the worthiness of the ongoing war there, want the United States to pull troops out of the country, and would like their leaders to exercise more restraint when it comes to getting involved in conflicts around the world. The survey, commissioned by the Charles Koch Institute and RealClearPolitics and conducted by YouGov, found that military veterans were even more likely to hold these views.

“On the 17th anniversary of the U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan—with no end in sight—the U.S. is still spending $45 billion annually in that country. Most sobering, some 2,400 troops have paid the ultimate sacrifice, with 10 times that many having returned home with war wounds,” said David Craig, editor of RealClearDefense. “This poll shows that majority of Americans consider the situation a stalemate, and one lacking a clear strategy for success. Consequently, most respondents believe it is time to draw down, if not completely withdrawal.”

The United States has approximately 15,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan.

According to the survey, 53 percent of Americans, and nearly 60 percent of military veterans, do not think the United States has a clear strategic objective in Afghanistan. Only 15 percent of all respondents and 23 percent of military veterans said the government does have such objectives. Fifty-one percent of respondents say that it either is time to decrease Afghanistan troop levels or to remove all troops from the country in the next 12 months. Even more Americans feel this way when asked about troop levels over the next five years. Fifty-seven percent of Americans, including 69 percent of military veterans, said they would support a decision by the president to remove all troops from Afghanistan.

Read more at The Charles Koch Institute.