Most Americans Want Afghanistan Pullout Deadline; Congress Says No

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A strong majority of Americans believe the war in Afghanistan is going badly and want Washington to establish a timetable for bringing home U.S forces. But despite negative opinions about the war among voters, Congress continues to oppose setting any limits on when the U.S. should pull out of the conflict.

A new CBS News poll found 62% of Americans are unhappy about the war, up from 49% in May. Only 23% say they are willing to have troops remain in Afghanistan for one or two more years, and 54% think leaders should start a countdown for withdrawing U.S. soldiers.
Forty-four percent disapprove of President Barack Obama’s handling of the war, while 43% approve it.
Yet, when a timetable proposal submitted by Representative Jim McGovern (D-Massachusetts) recently came up for a vote in the U.S. House, 60% of Democratic lawmakers supported it, but only 5% of Republicans went along.
Robert Naiman, policy director at Just Foreign Policy, wrote on Huffington Post: “If Democratic and Republican voters in the CBS poll had been allowed to stand in for Democrats and Republicans in the House two weeks ago (ignoring independents, also pro-timetable), the McGovern amendment would have passed 243-171, with 186 Democrats and 57 Republicans voting yes, and 54 Democrats and 117 Republicans voting no.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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