Poll: Most Want Afghanistan Withdrawal Timeline

CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.

Most Americans continue to say things are going badly for the U.S. in Afghanistan, and those assessments are more pessimistic now than they were just two months ago, a new CBS News poll shows.

Most Americans also want a timetable for withdrawal from the country.

Today, the poll finds, 62 percent of Americans say the war is going badly, up from 49 percent in May. Just 31 percent say the war in Afghanistan is going well.

Nine years into the war, 33 percent of Americans say they do not want large numbers of U.S. troops in Afghanistan for another year. Twenty-three percent of Americans say they are willing to have troops stay there for one or two more years.

Just 35 percent are willing to have troops stay longer than two years.

Most Americans -- 54 percent -- think the U.S. should set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Forty-one percent disagree.

There is a partisan divide on the issue: 73 percent of Democrats think the U.S. should set a timetable, while only 32 percent of Republicans say the U.S. should do so. Fifty-four percent of independents want a timetable.

Americans are divided over President Obama's handling of Afghanistan: 43 percent say they approve of his handling of the war, while 44 percent say they disapprove.

On Iraq, Americans continue to hold more positive views of the war- 55 percent say things are going well for the U.S. there.

More from the poll:

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Poll: Americans Say Bad Economy Will Linger
Poll: Support For Health Care Reform Drops
Poll: Support for Arizona Immigration Law Hits 57 Percent

Read the Complete Poll


This poll was conducted among a random sample of 966 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone July 9-12, 2010. 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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