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Americans' support for initial Afghan war declining, survey shows

By
Clyde Hughes
A flight deck handler directs an AV-8B Harrier jet from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit to takeoff position for a mission over Afghanistan on November 7, 2001. File Photo by Joseph R. Chenelly/U.S. Navy/UPI
A flight deck handler directs an AV-8B Harrier jet from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit to takeoff position for a mission over Afghanistan on November 7, 2001. File Photo by Joseph R. Chenelly/U.S. Navy/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 11 (UPI) -- On the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, a new survey said Wednesday Americans have a very divided view on the conflict in Afghanistan -- which, after 18 years, is still being fought by U.S. armed forces.

Gallup said it found more than half of Americans, 52 percent, say going into Afghanistan after the 2001 attacks was the right thing to do -- a decrease of 2 percent since the pollster last asked the question in 2015. Forty-three percent said it was a mistake, up 1 percent.

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The survey cited a deep partisan divide about the conflict -- with 53 percent of Democrats saying it was a mistake, compared to just 25 percent among Republicans. Forty-eight percent of independents answered that way.

When asked if the Afghan war has made Americans safer, 43 percent -- including 66 percent of Republicans -- said yes. Forty-six percent said Americans are now less safe.

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"Americans' views of the war in Afghanistan appear to have stabilized, remaining more positive than negative on balance," Gallup researcher R.J. Reinhart said. "Should Trump or a future Democratic president move to fully end U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, this is unlikely to change."

The Trump administration has been negotiating with the Taliban insurgent group for months, searching for a peace agreement that would remove all remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

The survey was published on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists' attacks. Gallup polled 2,300 Americans and the survey has a margin of error of 3 points.

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