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Entries in Afghanistan (55)

Friday
Feb152013

Senate Panel Grills Candidate to Head Central Command

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The general assigned to head the U.S. Central Command in the Middle East was grilled on Thursday about Afghanistan and Iraq by members on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

As it happened Army Gen. Lloyd Austin oversaw the final drawdown of forces in Iraq in 2011 that left virtually no American soldiers other than those who protected the embassy in Baghdad.

At the time, Austin's recommendation was for a force of above 3,500 troops but because Baghdad refused to grant U.S. soldiers immunity from prosecution, the Obama administration decided against leaving a residual force.

Austin told the Senate panel that he found ongoing violence in Iraq troubling and that a residual force might have acted as a stabilizing influence as Iraqi national soldiers and police still get their bearings.

Meanwhile, the general suggested that plans for the U.S. and its coalition partners to fund a reduced Afghan force of 230,000 after 2014 could result in shakier security with the Taliban still threatening to take over the country.

Austin added that he has no input yet on the Obama administration's post-Afghanistan war strategy and how many American forces will be left there when the major withdrawal is completed next year.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb122013

Obama to Announce 34,000 Troops Coming Home from Afghanistan

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will announce at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address that 34,000 troops -- more than half of those currently serving in the combat region -- will be back from Afghanistan a year from Tuesday, according to a source familiar with the speech.

Roughly 66,000 U.S. troops are serving in Afghanistan.  The military has proposed keeping several thousand troops in the country after 2014 as advisers, trainers and logistical support for Afghan forces; the White House has said it remains open to pulling out all troops entirely.

In January, during a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Obama said that most U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan would end this spring, signaling a quickening troop drawdown that will bring the decade-long war to a close at the end of 2014.

“Our troops will continue to fight alongside Afghans when needed, but let me say it as plainly as I can: Starting this spring, our troops will have a different mission -- training, advising, assisting Afghan forces,” Obama said on Jan. 11 at a news conference in Washington, D.C.

The president's comments planned for the State of the Union address will detail specific numbers along with that new mission.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct152012

Is Mitt Romney Shifting Tone on Afghanistan Plan?

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney's pointed criticism of President Obama's planned 2014 "transition" of troops out of Afghanistan has been dulled over the past week, marking a rhetorically subtle but politically significant shift in the Republican nominee's plan to end the decade-long war.

The Romney campaign denies any suggestion its policy has changed, but recent comments have opened the door for President Obama to question the challenger -- and deflect from broader foreign policy concerns -- during their debate Tuesday night in New York.

For months on the stump, Romney has warned that setting a hard-and-fast timeline for leaving the Afghanistan would provide the Taliban and other insurgent forces with the upper hand in the fight to build and preserve the country's already tenuous democratic institutions.

But over the past five days, both Romney's top foreign policy adviser and his running mate have used softer language, suggesting that a new administration would take almost precisely the same course.

During his foreign policy address on Oct. 8, Romney dismissed Obama's exit strategy as a "politically timed retreat that abandons the Afghan people to the same extremists who ravaged their country and used it to launch the attacks of 9/11."

"I'll evaluate conditions on the ground and weigh the best advice of our military commanders," Romney said, before making a final decision about when and at what rate U.S. troops would come home.

His campaign has also pointed to statements made by then-Gen. David Petraeus and Admiral Mike Mullen to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2011 suggesting Obama had removed surge troops from Afghanistan at a faster clip than suggested by military leaders.

But in an interview with Fox News on Thursday, before the vice presidential debate, top aide Dan Senor told Bret Baier Romney has "always been" on the same page with Obama and that he "supports the president's position."

"But aren't you saying that that's exactly the same?" Baier asked. "It's a calendar date on the page that gives the Taliban a date that they are going to step in --"

"Okay, so this is important," Senor interjected. "Governor Romney has always said it is a mistake to broadcast timelines, if you're the commander-in-chief, to broadcast timelines so our enemies are in the know about our next move."

The Obama campaign chimed in minutes later, accusing Romney in an email of playing "hide and go seek with their positions on issues of war and peace."

That night, during his debate with Vice President Biden, Rep. Paul Ryan made an argument similar to Senor's, implying that the Romney's complaint was less with the details of the current policy than the fact that it was made public.

"We don't want to broadcast to our enemies 'put a date on your calendar, wait us out, and then come back,'" the vice presidential nominee told debate moderator and ABC News senior foreign affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz.

Raddatz followed up, asking Ryan if he otherwise agreed with the president's plan.

"We do agree, we do agree with the timeline and the transition," he responded, "but what we, what any administration will do in 2013 is assess the situation to see how best to complete this timeline."

Daniel Serwer, a senior fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University, told ABC News after Romney's Monday speech that the candidate presented "a distinction without a difference" on the Afghan question.

"He might push it back a couple of months," Serwer said in an email, "but he has never suggested anything more dramatic than that."

The NATO-backed plan to end combat operations and conduct a staggered withdrawal of troops would see internal security responsibility handed over to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government in 2013. The military force would begin marching home over the next year.

The U.S. will, however, maintain a "residual force" of unknown quantity for an unknown period of time after the current agreement expires. Financial support will also continue, at a shared estimated cost of $4 billion per year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep112012

Marking 9/11 Anniversary, Romney Renews Call for Withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images(RENO, Nev.) -- Mitt Romney Tuesday renewed his call for American troops in Afghanistan to return to the United States by the end of 2014 during a speech in Reno, Nev. The Republican presidential nominee remarked on the withdrawal as he delivered a speech that paid tribute to the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.
 
“While the war in Iraq is over, nearly 70,000 American troops will still remain in Afghanistan at the end of the month,” said Romney, who spoke to the National Guard Association Conference. “Our goal should be to complete a successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014.  We should evaluate conditions on the ground and solicit the best advice of our military commanders.”
 
Romney’s statements about troops in Afghanistan came after criticism of the candidate for not mentioning them specifically during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.
 
Noting that the 9/11 anniversary is not an appropriate day to talk about the differences between his and President Obama’s “plans for military and for our national security,” Romney did make veiled references to former criticisms he’s had of President Obama’s handling of foreign policy, namely that he believes the president should have had more open communication with troops and the American public about the mission of our troops stationed overseas.
 
“We can all agree that our men and women in the field deserve a clear mission, that they deserve the resources and resolute leadership they need to complete that mission, and that they deserve a country that will provide for their needs when they come home,” said Romney, who never mentioned the president by name in his speech.
 
“Of course, the return of our troops cannot and must not be used as an excuse to hollow out our military through devastating defense budget cuts.  It is true that our armed forces have been stretched to the brink -- and that is all the more reason to repair and rebuild,” said Romney. “We can always find places to end waste.”
 
Romney said that Sept. 11 was a “day to express gratitude” to those who have fought and are still fighting, specifically thanking the SEAL team “who delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.”
 
Romney’s campaign, like Obama’s, suspended political ads for the day, and the bulk of Romney’s speech in Reno Tuesday was dedicated to remembering the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Romney recalled his own experience that day, telling the crowd of hundreds of guardsmen and women that he had been in Washington, D.C. for Olympic committee meetings when he heard the first tower was struck.
 
“These, then, were purposeful acts, these were terrorist acts, these were evil and cowardly and heinous acts,” Romney said of his thoughts at the time.

 Romney paid particular tribute to the Guardsman’s service in the U.S., specifically thanking them for their work following hurricanes in the U.S., and those who have fought in Afghanistan.
 
“Time and again, it has been the Guardsman's hand that has lifted a child from rising waters, that has rescued a family from a hurricane's fury, and that has fed and clothed a fellow American whose home and possessions have been lost to nature's devastation,” said Romney. “It is a Guardsman who took out Saddam Hussein's tanks from his A-10, and who fought to secure the villages of Afghanistan. Thank you for that service.”
 
“As you know too well, our world is a dangerous place. And the attack on our homeland and citizens on September 11, 2001 reminds us that the mission of the Guard is ever more critical, and ever more deserving of our support and honor,” he said.
 
“More than a decade has now passed since that day of tragedy. But the visions and events are seared in the memory of every American,” he said. “We remember those who died. We marvel at the courage of those who stormed the cockpit when they became aware of the malevolent purpose of the hijackers. We hold up in prayer the families and friends who have lived in a shadow cast by grief. We draw strength from the selflessness of the first responders. And we renew our resolve to protect America from the designs of evil men.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Sep092012

Joe Biden Calls GOP a 'Different Breed of Cat'

ABC News(PORTSMOUTH, Ohio) – Vice President Joe Biden often proclaims how different the Republican Party is from generations ago, but in Portsmouth, Ohio, Sunday, he had a new way to describe them – a “different breed of cat.”

“They’re not bad guys. It’s just a different, as my brother would say, different breed of cat,” Biden said at Portsmouth High School.

In nearly every speech, Biden cites the transformation of the GOP with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan now at the helm of the party, telling audiences, “This is not your father’s Republican Party.”

Biden, whose son Beau is an Iraq war veteran, stressed the importance of acknowledging the sacrifices and contributions made by U.S. troops, a talking point he’s focused on since Romney failed to mention Afghanistan in his convention speech in August.

“Folks, folks, let me ask you: How many of you, like me, had a son or a daughter who went to Iraq or Afghanistan? How many of you have a brother or sister. How many of you know somebody who’s gone? You all know, you all know, we owe these young women and men an incredible debt to them, we owe those families an incredible debt,” he said.

“Those of you who have people deployed, you know — five, ten times a day, it just flashes through your mind. Folks we owe so much,” Biden later added. “This is going to go down, when we record this 9/11 generation, as the second greatest generation in the history of this country.”

On NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday, Romney continued to defend his omission of Afghanistan from his speech at the Republican National Convention, saying that policy is more important than words.

“I have some differences on policy with the president. I happen to think those are more important than what word I mention in each speech,” Romney said.

A crowd of 700 gathered at the local high school to listen to Biden, who has campaigned in the state over the weekend and will return to the state Wednesday. The vice president expressed his comfort level campaigning in an area similar to where he grew up in Pennsylvania.

“If you know northeast Pennsylvania, you’ll not be surprised. It’s not a whole lot different than southern Ohio, or actually a lot of parts of Ohio,” Biden said. “I feel really comfortable here. I’ve been here a lot. I plan on coming back a lot.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug312012

President Obama to Troops: 'I Meant What I Said’ on War, Veterans’ Care

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages(FORT BLISS, Texas) -- President Obama told several hundred troops with the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss in Texas that he kept his promises as commander-in-chief during the past three-and-a-half years, ending the war in Iraq, drawing down forces in Afghanistan and redoubling care for returning veterans.

His record, he said, was proof that he can be trusted at the helm for four more years.

“I told the American people that all our troops would be out of Iraq by the end of [2011],” Obama said. “At the time I know some folks didn’t believe me. They were skeptical. Some thought the end of combat was just word games and semantics. But I meant what I said.”

“Two years ago I also told you that we’d keep up the fight in Afghanistan,” he said. “I’ve got to tell you the truth. This is still a very tough fight…. Just as in Iraq, we are going to end this war responsibly.”

The message, coming on the heels of the Republican National Convention and exactly two years after the U.S. ended combat operations in Iraq, was as much an appeal to war-weary voters as it was to the troops he leads.  Both constituencies are seen as key voting blocs by Obama’s re-election campaign.

As Obama spoke, his top aides pointed out that campaign rival Mitt Romney made no mention of war -- or the troops -- in his prime time convention address on Thursday night.  

“In an almost 45-minute speech, Romney didn’t find a moment to mention our troops in Afghanistan or how we’re providing for our veterans when they return home,” said senior Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod. “So American people last night didn’t get any straight answers from Mitt Romney. They got nothing but evasion, distraction and insults.”

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that he was “surprised” that Romney failed to “mention the 70,000 men and women who are serving in Afghanistan, executing a mission that is profoundly important to America’s national security in a conflict that was the direct result of an attack on the United States by al Qaeda.”

Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams noted that on Wednesday the governor addressed the American Legion national convention, a group whose invitation Obama declined.

“The Obama campaign’s attack on Governor Romney today is another attempt to politicize the war in Afghanistan, a war in which President Obama has dangerously based his decisions on political calculations, endangering our mission,” Williams said.

Obama has implemented a timetable for U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, with all American troops set to be out of the country by 2014.

The president last visited Ft. Bliss two years ago -- Aug. 31, 2010 -- to announce the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq.  Sixteen months later the final U.S. troops withdrew from that country after nearly a decade of war. Nearly 4,500 Americans died in the Iraq War, including 198 from the 1st Armored Division based at Fort Bliss.

“When I was here last I made you a pledge. I said that as president, I will insist that America serves you and your families as well as you’ve served us,” Obama told the troops. “And there again, I meant what I said.”

Earlier Friday, Obama signed an executive order to expand mental health services and suicide prevention efforts for veterans and military families.

“I know that you join me in saying to everyone who’s ever worn the uniform, if you’re hurting, it’s not a sign of weakness to seek help. It’s a sign of strength,” he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May272012

Leon Panetta Dismisses Romney’s Afghanistan Criticism

ABC(NEW YORK) -- Defense Secretary Leon Panetta dismissed presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s criticism of President Obama’s Afghanistan strategy, saying it is appropriate for the U.S. to set a date certain for ending military operations in the country at the end of 2014.

At a campaign event on Feb. 1, Romney called out Panetta for outlining plans for withdrawing forces from Afghanistan, where the U.S. has fought since 2001.

“You just scratch your head and say how can you be so misguided? And so naïve?” Romney said of Obama’s Afghanistan strategy. “His secretary of defense said that on a date certain … we’re going to pull out our combat troops from Afghanistan … Why in the world do you go to the people that you’re fighting with and tell them the day you’re pulling out your troops?”

But in a This Week interview, Panetta countered that the timeline has been the long-time plan first put in motion under President Bush, and confirmed by President Obama and NATO leaders at a summit in Chicago last week.

“I think you’ve got 50 nations in NATO that agree to a plan in Afghanistan,” Panetta said on This Week. “It’s to take us to a point where we draw down by the end of 2014 … That is the plan that has been agreed to. And it’s a plan that is working.”

“And very frankly, the only way to get this accomplished in terms of the transition that we have to go through is to be able to set the kind of timelines that have been set here in order to ensure that we fulfill the mission of an Afghanistan that governs and secures itself,” Panetta added.

While the U.S. has worked to transition control of security to Afghan forces, concerns remain that the Taliban may be able to re-assert control over the country after U.S. and NATO forces withdraw.

But Panetta said the U.S. is making progress, and will maintain “an enduring presence” in the country, aiding in counter-terrorism and training efforts beyond 2014 in order to combat the return of the Taliban or al Qaeda.

“The world needs to know that we still have a fight on our hands,” Panetta said. “We’re still dealing with the Taliban. Although they’ve been weakened, they are resilient … But we’re on the right track.”

And on this Memorial Day weekend, Panetta said it was important to “get the mission accomplished” in Afghanistan to honor the service members who have died there.

“I think all of us have to be constantly vigilant that whatever battle we engage in, that we not only achieve the mission but we make damn sure that we do everything possible to ensure that every life was lost for a cause that we still commit ourselves to,” Panetta said.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar122012

Rick Santorum Says America Should Apologize for Afghanistan Shooting

ABC/ DONNA SVENNEVIK(BILOXI, Miss.) -- Rick Santorum said Monday that if a U.S. soldier shot and killed 16 civilians, as U.S. officials have suggested, then the Afghan people deserve an apology.

After an energy conference here, Santorum told reporters that the incident needs to be investigated further, calling it a “horrible situation.”

“If it turns out to be the case that this person did a horrible wrong and it was a deliberate act, a deliberate act by an American soldier and that is something we should clearly say was something that we should apologize for,” Santorum said. “That it’s not a mistake, it wasn’t something that was inadvertent. This was something that was deliberately done by an American soldier to innocent civilians. It’s something that the proper authorities should apologize for, for not doing their job in making sure that something like this wouldn’t happen, something like this should not happen in our military period.”

Santorum has repeatedly condemned President Obama for “apologizing” for America, including most recently the apology the president offered Afghans for the accidental burning of Qurans by U.S. soldiers. The burning caused riots in the country.

The former Pennsylvania senator said earlier Monday that the president’s 2014 withdrawal timeline for Afghanistan made a “winnable operation very, very difficult.” The timeline was actually set by NATO leaders in November 2010.

The pace of the withdrawal will depend on several factors, but Obama spokesman Jay Carney would not comment Monday on whether Sunday’s shooting was among them.

Obama called Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday to offer condolences to the Afghan people, according to a statement from the White House. He also pledged to investigate the incident and “hold fully accountable anyone responsible.”

On election matters, the Santorum campaign released a delegate memo a day before Mississippi and Alabama vote that basically amounted to a rebuttal of the Romney campaign’s argument last week that the nomination was all locked up and that Santorum needed 65 percent of the delegates in each contest going forward. In Biloxi, Miss., Santorum stressed that it will be “difficult” for any of the candidates to get to that 1,144 number.

“I think you’ve been listening to math class and delegate math class instead of looking at the reality of the situation,” Santorum told reporters. “The reality of the situation is that…it’s going to be very difficult for anyone to get to the number of delegates that is necessary to win with the majority at the convention. I think that’s what the math is pretty much showing.”

He admitted that the race for this state and Alabama, which also votes Tuesday, will be “tough.” The race is tight among Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in both states, according to several polls. The candidate said he’s been “playing catch-up” here because the other campaigns have “been running ads longer” and campaigning here more than he has.

Santorum had a significant financial disadvantage over his opponents at the beginning of the primary, especially Romney.  But that is no longer the case.  The campaign raised $9 million to Romney’s $11.5 million in February and he has a super PAC working on his behalf as well.

A slimmed-down campaign with less of the trappings of a traditional one, including spending less money on advertising and a smaller team, is a hallmark of their operation. Santorum told voters here and in Alabama that if they want a “conservative nominee” they should “make it a two-person race,” making it clear he thinks if he is the victor in these Southern states, it will edge Newt Gingrich permanently out of the running.

Santorum jabbed the president during his address at the Gulf Coast energy summit, calling opposition to offshore drilling and increased regulation of oil production here “politicization of science.”

This region was devastated financially and environmentally by the 2010 Gulf oil spill. He also called climate change “politicization,” and while he believes the “earth does warm, the earth does cool,” it’s because “it always has, it always will.

“The idea that one particular factor is the driving force behind it that would cause cataclysmic effects is unscientific and therefore we’re not going to support any type of dramatic and vague changes to our laws that even those who support those changes will tell you is not going to have any impact on the so-called man made global warming,” Santorum said. “So this is simply folly, folly in the sense that putting forth proposals that don’t even solve the problems that they say that exist, which is speculative at best.”

He said he could point reporters to “a whole host” of sources and scientists to back up his claims.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar122012

Santorum Hits Obama on Afghanistan Withdrawal Timeline

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss.) -- As he mingled with the Mississippi breakfast crowd, Rick Santorum said the president’s timeline in Afghanistan “has made a very winnable operation very, very difficult.”

“It continues to unravel because the president has given something to the enemy that we should have been able to deny them, which is hope,” Santorum said, referring to the withdrawal timeline, which would have American troops out of Afghanistan by 2014. “But when the president put a timeline in place, the rules of engagement that he has…he’s made this a very difficult mission, as we see it getting more and more difficult as we get closer to that timeline.”

Santorum did not say how the operation would be “winnable” without a timeline in place. The timeline of 2014 was originally put into place by NATO leaders in November of 2010.

On Saturday, an Army staff sergeant killed 16 civilians, including nine children in Southern Afghanistan.

The former Pennsylvania senator, who is locked in a three-way tie in both Mississippi and Alabama, according to several polls, accused the president of “putt[ing] political timelines in place” and said he’s “not focused on trying to win the war,” in order to “pacify” his “anti-war base.”

“What he’s done is the worst possible thing, put the men and women in uniform in harm’s way without a real clear mission that could be accomplished,” Santorum told reporters after shaking hands and greeting patrons at McElroy’s on the Bayou.

He called Sunday’s shootings “horrific” and “very tragic,” and called the soldier who allegedly murdered the civilians “someone who obviously lost it,” and said he should be “brought to justice quickly.”

“You’ve got to obviously do the reviews to find out what happened,” Santorum said. “Whether there was a pattern here. All those things are going to have to be reviewed and they should be.”

Santorum was greeted by applause and cheers when he and his wife Karen walked into the restaurant and greeted customers and sat down to breakfast with patrons.

“I don’t consider this an away game, this is home for me just like everywhere I go in this country because we got Americans who love this country who want to see a government put back in our bounds and they want the opportunity to be free and be able to raise their families without Washington interfering…that’s why I feel like every state has been a home game for me,” Santorum said.

The candidate continues to campaign in Mississippi on Monday before hitting stops in Alabama. Both states vote Tuesday, along with Hawaii, where his eldest daughter Elizabeth is campaigning for him.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Mar112012

Poll: Six in 10 Criticize War in Afghanistan

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Sixty percent of Americans say the war in Afghanistan has not been not worth fighting and just 30 percent believe the Afghan public supports the U.S. mission there—marking the sour state of attitudes on the war even before the shooting rampage allegedly by a U.S. soldier this weekend.

Indeed a majority in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, 54 percent, say the United States should withdraw its forces from Afghanistan without completing its current effort to train Afghan forces to become self-sufficient.

The survey was completed Saturday. Early Sunday, a U.S. service member allegedly left his base in Kandahar and shot and killed more than a dozen civilians in two nearby villages, an incident certain to raise tensions already inflamed by the U.S. military’s inadvertent burning of Muslim holy books at Bagram Air Base last month. That incident sparked violent protests, including a series of incidents in which Afghan soldiers have turned their guns on U.S. forces.

Against that backdrop, the number of Americans who say the war has not been worth fighting, at 60 percent, is up by 6 points from its level last June to just 4 points from its peak, 64 percent, a year ago. Intensity of sentiment is deeply negative: Forty-four percent feel “strongly” that the war has not been worth fighting. Just 17 percent, by contrast, support it strongly.

Criticism of the war had been assuaged to some extent last year by the drawdown of U.S. forces, a step backed by 78 percent of Americans in an ABC/Post poll last month. Taking another tack, this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, asked if the United States should keep its forces in Afghanistan until it has trained the Afghan Army to be self-sufficient, or withdraw even without accomplishing that task. Given those competing interests, 43 percent favor completing the training effort; 54 percent, as noted, opt for withdrawal regardless.

While the war lacks majority support on the basis of a cost-benefit evaluation for the United States, support is further eroded by the fact that 55 percent of Americans think most Afghans themselves do not support U.S. efforts in their country, and an additional 15 percent are unsure. Just three in 10 think the U.S. mission enjoys majority support.

Partisanship informs views on the war. Democrats and political independents see it as not worth fighting by broad 40- and 31-point margins, respectively, while Republicans divide evenly on the question. Similarly, liberals and moderates are critical of the war by 49- and 27-point margins; conservatives share this view much more narrowly, by 9 points. And while nearly six in 10 Republicans favor staying until Afghan forces are trained, that drops to 37 percent among others.

A renewal of critical views could have political ramifications for President Obama’s re-election effort. Discontent with the war in Iraq, at similar levels as views on Afghanistan today, badly damaged George W. Bush’s presidency, marking the risk for Obama, especially in an election year.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone March 7-10, 2012, among a random national sample of 1,003 adults, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 4.0 points for the full sample.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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