July 26, 2013 | By Dina Smeltz

With 2014 Troop Withdrawal on the Horizon, Afghanistan War Fatigue Hits New Highs

Guest post by Gregory Holyk, Langer Research

As the Obama administration continues to negotiate the terms of its future security commitments with the Afghan government, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds war fatigue among the American public at a new peak, now matching levels last seen in Iraq. Two-thirds now say that considering the costs versus the benefits to the United States, the war in Afghanistan hasn't been worth it, a new high in 21 ABC/Post polls since early 2007. And half now feel that the war hasn't increased the country's long-term security, the first time in five polls since mid-2010 that more say the war has not contributed to the US' security than say it has (50-43 percent).

Despite their reservations about the war's benefits, Americans do not favor leaving Afghanistan high and dry. By a 53-43 percent margin, more people support leaving some troops behind to train Afghan soldiers and conduct counter-insurgency operations than want to remove all US forces. The Obama administration has stated that both options are still on the table.

See ABCNews for the full analysis.


The Chicago Council on Global Affairs highlights critical shifts in American public thinking on US foreign policy through public opinion surveys and research conducted under the Lester Crown Center on US Foreign Policy. 

The annual Chicago Council Survey, first conducted in 1974, is a valuable resource for policymakers, academics, media, and the general public. The Council also surveys American leaders in government, business, academia, think tanks, and religious organizations biennially to compare trends in their thinking with overall trends. And collaborating with partner organizations, the survey team periodically conducts parallel surveys of public opinion in other regions of the world to compare with US public opinion. 

The Running Numbers blog features regular commentary and analysis from the Council’s public opinion and US foreign policy research team, including a series of flash polls of a select group of foreign policy experts to assess their opinions on critical foreign policy topics driving the news.


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