The Obama administration’s plan to step up U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is unlikely to be welcomed in many of the world’s nations; even in the United States, the public has grown skeptical that progress has been made in the ongoing war in that country. The Pew Global Attitudes survey conducted last spring found that in 21 of 24 countries surveyed, a majority or plurality said the U.S. and NATO should remove their troops from Afghanistan as soon as possible with only the U.S., Britain and Australia supporting keeping troops there until it has stabilized. Even American support was slim, with 50% favoring a continued troop presence and 44% favoring withdrawal. In other NATO countries surveyed, narrow majorities in Spain, France and Germany backed withdrawal, as did large majorities in Turkey and Poland and in all three Arab nations surveyed. And while a new Pew Research survey finds overwhelming support for Obama’s plan to begin troop withdrawals from Iraq this August (76% approve while just 18% disapprove), in contrast, a much narrower majority (53%) approves of his decision to dispatch 17,000 additional U.S. forces to Afghanistan. Read More

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Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.