Over the past several weeks, opposition to the escalation of the U.S. war in Afghanistan has been growing. Progressive bloggers have organized to oppose the war while major anti-war groups have also begun to take stances against the war. At the same time, opposition has grown within Afghanistan due to the rising civilian death toll.
Poll Shows Increased U.S. Opposition to War
On Tuesday, USA Today reported that public opposition to the Afghanistan War is growing.
Citing a recent USA Today/Galllup Poll, the newspaper reported that a growing number of people within the United States are calling the war “a mistake.” According to the poll, 42% of people now call the war a mistake–a dramatic increase from November 2001 support for the war was nearly unanimous. It’s also a significant increase from last month, when 30% of respondents said the war was a mistake. Additionally, the poll found that only 38% believe the war is going well.
House Members Urge Obama to Reconsider Afghanistan Escalation
Amidst shifting attitudes and growing opposition to the war, a bipartisan group of 15 members of the United States House of Representatives has sent President Barack Obama a letter asking him to reconsider plans to send 17,000 troops to the country.
The group is asking that Obama not send the troops until he comes up with a clear “exit strategy” for the war.
The letter further questions the use of military force to bring stability to the country:
“If the intent is to leave behind a stable Afghanistan capable of governing itself, this military escalation may well be counterproductive. A recent study by the Carnegie Endowment has concluded that “the only meaningful way to halt the insurgency’s momentum is to start withdrawing troops. The presence of foreign troops is the most important element driving the resurgence of the Taliban.”
The 2001 authorization to use military force in Afghanistan allowed military action “to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States.” Continuing to fight a counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan does not appear to us to be in keeping with these directives and an escalation may actually harm US security.”
The letter goes on to say that “success” in Afghanistan may be used to increase U.S. military involvement in Pakistan, which the representatives argue would further destabilize the region.