Poll: U.S. divided on troop surge

Nov. 25, 2009 at 12:41 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- American reaction will be divided if U.S. President Barack Obama decides to deploy an additional 34,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a national poll indicates.

Obama, who held his latest strategy meeting Monday, is expected to announce his Afghan plan after the Thanksgiving holiday. Quoting sources, CNN said one option proposes sending about 34,000 U.S. troops in addition to the 68,000 troops already there.

If that option is adopted, a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll said half the respondents said they would go along with it, while 49 percent would be opposed. The poll results showed support for the 34,000 troop surge is greater than the 45 percent who support the overall war effort, while 52 percent oppose the war.

"The war is unpopular, and previous polls have shown that Americans oppose sending more troops in the abstract," CNN polling director Keating Holland said. "But it may be a different story when Americans are confronted with an actual decision, by the commander in chief, on a military matter."

The poll indicated if Obama decides to send a smaller number than 34,000, 56 percent would oppose the move, while about 40 percent would support it.

"Support for a smaller troop buildup drops most among Republicans," Holland said. "They appear most wary of doing things by half-measures in Afghanistan."

The telephone poll of 1,014 respondents was conducted Nov. 13-15 and has a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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