Poll: Most Say War in Afghanistan Going Badly

(CBS)
More Americans than ever believe the war in Afghanistan is going badly for the United States, a new CBS News poll finds.

Sixty-nine percent now say things are going badly for the U.S. in Afghanistan, a sharp increase from the 53 percent who said so in September. Just 23 percent say things are going well, down 12 points from September.

The findings reflect the most negative assessment of the war ever measured in CBS News polls.

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Assessments have declined in particular among Republicans and independents. In September, 47 percent of Republicans thought the war was going well for the U.S.; that figure has now fallen to 27 percent. Among independents, positive assessments of the war have fallen from 34 percent in September to 21 percent.

The new poll also suggests that Americans have become increasingly skeptical about President Obama's handling of Afghanistan. Just 38 percent now approve of the president's performance on Afghanistan, down from 43 percent in October and 58 percent in April. Forty-three percent disapprove, an increase of nine points from last month.

Most of the change can be attributed to independents. While 44 percent approved of Mr. Obama's performance on Afghanistan a month ago, just 30 percent approve today.

Read the Complete Poll

(CBS)
The president is presently in the midst of a protracted assessment of the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan and is expected to announce a new strategy in the coming weeks.

Americans are split on whether or not the president should follow the recommendations of commanders in Afghanistan and send more troops to the country. Thirty-two percent want a troop increase, a five-point decrease from last month. Thirty-nine percent, meanwhile, was troops levels decreased. Another 20 percent want troop levels kept where they are.

Thirty-six percent say adding troops will make the situation in Iraq better, while 22 percent say doing so will make things worse. Thirty-one percent say adding troops will have no impact.

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This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,167 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone November 13-16, 2009. Phone numbers were dialed from random digit dial samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

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