(NEW YORK) -- A record 60 percent of Americans say the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting, a grim assessment -- and a politically hazardous one -- in advance of the Obama administration's one-year review of its revised strategy.
Public dissatisfaction with the war, now the nation's longest, has spiked by seven points since July. Given its costs weighed against its benefits, only 34 percent of respondents in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll say the war's been worth fighting, down by nine points to a new low, by a sizable margin.
Negative views of the war for the first time are at the level of those recorded for the war in Iraq, whose unpopularity dragged George W. Bush to historic lows in approval throughout his second term. On average from 2005 through 2009, 60 percent called that war not worth fighting, the same number who say so now about Afghanistan.
As support for the Iraq war decreased, approval of Bush's job performance fell in virtual lockstep -- a strong cautionary note for President Obama. Presidents Truman and Johnson also saw their approval ratings drop sharply during the wars in Korea and Vietnam, respectively.
The public's increasingly negative assessment comes after a new strategy, including a surge of U.S. and allied forces, led to the Afghanistan war's bloodiest year. According to icasualties.org, nearly 500 U.S. soldiers have been killed and 4,481 wounded in 2010, compared with 317 killed and 2,114 wounded in 2009, and 155 killed, 793 wounded in 2008.
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