Saturday, November 07, 2009

British public support for Afghanistan war falling...

British public support for the war in Afghanistan is falling, while more than 40 per cent do not understand why British troops are fighting there, a poll released on Remembrance Sunday showed.

Some 64 per cent agreed that "the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable", up six per cent from July, while 27 per cent disagreed, down four per cent. Ten per cent said they did not know.

Similar numbers said British forces should be withdrawn as quickly as possible, with 63 per cent agreeing and 31 per cent disagreeing.

Some 54 per cent felt they had "a good understanding of the purpose of Britain's mission in Afghanistan", with 42 per cent disagreeing.

"Overall there is the sense that Afghanistan is becoming for (British Prime Minister) Gordon Brown what Iraq became for (his predecessor) Tony Blair," said Andrew Hawkins, chief executive of pollsters ComRes.

"More than four in 10 don't understand Britain's mission; support for the British presence there is ebbing away, and a majority have responded to the presidential election very negatively indeed.

"The results suggest that the impact of the war must be having an impact on Labour support, since it is that party's core supporters who are most strongly opposed to it."

Meanwhile, 52 per cent agreed that "the levels of corruption involved in the recent presidential election show the war in Afghanistan is not worth fighting for." Thirty-six per cent disagreed.

"This is potentially devastating for the government's case for war," said Hawkins.

ComRes surveyed 1,009 adults of different ages and social classes across Britain for BBC television's "The Politics Show".

This is actually quite interesting as New Zealand public support has fallen too - about evenly split at present; just after NZ has sent its SAS special forces troops back to Afghanistan for another three six month rotations. It will also be very interesting if they survive their rotations there, especially if there are many casualties and even deaths.

Acknowledgements: Yahoo News

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