Poll: Canadians doubt Afghan surge effect

TORONTO, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- A big majority of Canadians doubt the surge of 30,000 U.S. troops into Afghanistan will result in a victory, a poll indicates.

The poll, conducted for Canwest News Service and Global National by Ipsos-Reid and published by Canwest Monday, indicated 66 percent of respondents disagree "the buildup of U.S. troops in Afghanistan with NATO forces, including Canada, will ultimately create a military victory over the Taliban."


"An all-out sense that 30,000 extra troops are going to defeat the enemy, I don't think people are buying that," John Wright, senior vice-president of Ipsos-Reid public affairs, told Canwest.

He said three factors are producing deep doubts in the Canadian public: Afghanistan's long tradition of resisting outsiders, lessons learned from Vietnam and other modern wars, and a poor job by Western leaders of defining what a "victory" over the Taliban would be.

Wright told the Canadian broadcaster he believes a heated debate in Parliament about the alleged torture of Afghan prisoners has not impacted public opinion about the prospects of winning the war.

The poll surveyed 1,038 adults Dec. 9-10 and carried a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.


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