Afghanistan ‘unwinnable’

July 06, 2010, 7:37 PM GMT+0

The war in Afghanistan is crucially lacking public support in Britain, a recent YouGov/Sun poll has found.

The survey, taken between 4th and 5th July, just under a week after the US Senate appointed the former head of multinational forces in Iraq General David Petraeus as the new commander of US forces in the country, confirmed that British public opinion is largely opposed to the widely touted ‘unwinnable’ war in Afghanistan and is in favour of withdrawing British troops.

Only seven percent of people questioned held that the British troops are winning in Afghanistan. On the other hand, a majority of 53% affirmed their view that victory in Afghanistan is not possible. When questioned if troops should be ‘withdrawn immediately’, 28% unequivocally answered ‘yes’, while a further 44% held that ‘most troops should be withdrawn soon, and the rest within the next year or so’ – 72% who feel troops should be withdrawn in total.

Although the poll demonstrates little variation between party allegiances, Lib Dem supporters emerged as particularly critical of the war with only four percent of them believing that the war is being won by British troops, compared to six percent of Conservative supporters and ten percent of Labour supporters. The poll also demonstrates particularly high scepticism towards the war amongst older people, with only four percent of 40-59 year-olds and the over 60s agreeing that British troops are winning, as opposed to 18% of respondents between the ages of 18-24.

Survey details and full results