27% of Afghans Say Insurgent Attacks Are Justified

Last year, only 8% thought so
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2010 10:44 AM CST
Afghan refugees walk inside their camp outside Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

(Newser) – A new poll shows a striking increase in the number of Afghans who support insurgent attacks against American troops: 27%, compared to just 8% last year, called such attacks justified. The increase parallels an increase in Afghan civilian casualties—fatalities and injuries were up 31% in the first half of the year, but the UN blamed most of those on Taliban attacks and said that casualties from NATO and Afghan government forces actually dropped 30% from the same period last year.

The poll, based on interviews with a random sample of nearly 1,700 Afghan adults across the country, also showed that Afghans are more open to a negotiated settlement with the Taliban, and less confident in the ability of the US and NATO to provide security. Thirty-six percent expressed confidence, down 12 percentage points from last year and 31 percentage points from 2006, while a full 73% said they were in favor of a settlement—up 13 percentage points since 2007, the AP reports.

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