One day ahead of an address to the nation in which President Obama will announce his plans for the nation’s future involvement in Afghanistan, a Pew survey finds that a record high level of Americans now support an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops.
In the survey, 56% of respondents said they thought troops should come home “as soon as possible.” At the same time, 39% said the military should remain until the situation in Afghanistan has stabilized, a record low in Pew’s surveys.
According to multiple reports, Obama will lay out a plan Wednesday night to bring home thousands of troops beginning in July. In addition, he is expected to announce a strategy for bringing home the 30,000 additional “surge” troops he ordered sent to Afghanistan in December 2009. Obama has faced mounting pressure from both the public and members of Congress to begin scaling back the country’s presence in Afghanistan, particularly in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death.
Back in March, a Washington Post / ABC News poll showed a record high two-thirds of Americans thought the Afghan war was not worth fighting. And while faith in Obama’s handling of the war against Al Qaeda rose immediately following the news that U.S. special forces had killed bin Laden, Pew’s findings indicate that that event has only made American’s more eager for a speedy withdrawal from the country’s military entanglements.
Also according to the poll, a majority of Americans still think the U.S. made the right decision in sending troops to Afghanistan in the first place. Fifty-six percent of respondents said it was the right call, while 35% said it was the wrong decision.
The Pew poll was conducted june 15-19 among 1,502 adults nationwide. It has a 3.5% margin of error.