The Corner

Public Opinion on Afghanistan

There’s not nearly as much resistance to sending troops to Afghanistan as has often been portrayed in the press. Per the new NBC/WSJ poll, the public is basically split on the question. From First Read:

Per our poll, by a 47%-44% margin, respondents support increasing the troop level there, which is a reversal from last month, when 51% opposed an increase and 44% supported it. Also, as Republicans criticize Obama for waiting to announce his troop decision — Dick Cheney recently said the president was “dithering” — almost six in 10 (58%) say they support delaying a decision until after Afghanistan’s run-off election on Nov. 7. And when presented with four different approaches to Afghanistan, the most acceptable (at 55%) was sending 10,000 more troops to the country, while the least acceptable (at 43%) was Gen. McChrystal’s recommendation of 40,000 more troops. To put it another way, it’s more acceptable to Americans to send more troops (10,00 in this case) than not sending ANY more troops. This finding also was noteworthy: 62% said they had more confidence in the generals on the ground to make the right decisions on military strategy, versus 25% who said they had more confidence in the president.