Support for US operations in Afghanistan declining: Poll

February 10th, 2009 - 5:47 pm ICT by ANI  


Washington, Feb 10 (ANI): The support for US operations in Afghanistan is declining, with air strikes being a chief concern, according to a poll conducted by ABC News.

A quarter of the Afghans polled said that attacks on American or allied forces are justifiable, double the proportion saying so in late 2006.

The poll, the fourth conducted in Afghanistan since 2005 by ABC News and its media partners, also shows plummeting support for President Hamid Karzai and the Afghan Government.

The poll also pointed a sharp decline in the proportion of Afghans who think the nation is heading in the right direction, the Washington Post reported.

The proportion of Afghans rating their security positively dipped to 55 percent, from 72 percent in 2005. Seventy percent of those who said the nation is on the wrong track cited security as a central concern.

At the same time, ratings of US forces have declined precipitously; 32 percent said US and coalition forces are performing well, down from 68 percent in 2005. And fewer than half of the respondents, 42 percent, have confidence in coalition forces to provide security in their areas.

Most troubling to the Afghans are US airstrikes and civilian casualties. One in five said coalition forces have killed civilians in their area in the past year, and one in six reported nearby bombing or shelling at the hands of US forces.

About eight in 10 called coalition air strikes unacceptable, viewing the risk to innocent civilians as greater than the value of these raids in fighting the Taliban and other anti-government insurgents.

The poll, conducted by the Afghan Center for Socio-Economic and Opinion Research in Kabul for ABC News, the BBC and ARD German television, found that 47 percent hold a favorable view of the United States, down from 83 percent in 2005. (ANI)

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