Public Thinks Obama's Clueless on Afghanistan

Deeply divided country leaves president between rock, hard place
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2009 8:17 AM CDT
US soldiers from the 5th Striker Brigade patrol on the outskirts of Spin Boldak, near the border with Pakistan, Aug. 9, 2009.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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(Newser) – When it comes to the Afghan war, Barack Obama is between a rock and a hard place politically. Only 45% of the public approves of his handling of it, down 10 percentage points from last month, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, and a whopping 63% don’t think he has a clear strategy. But voters are deeply divided over what Obama should do to right the ship.

Two-thirds of Republicans, whose support for Obama’s war effort has tumbled from 51% to 22%, favor deploying 40,000 more troops. But most Democrats say the war is “not worth fighting,” and 61% oppose the troop increase. Independents narrowly oppose the move. But few want to switch gears from protecting Afghanistan to fighting terrorists; four out of five said that even if the Taliban didn’t support terrorism, the US should work to keep it out of power.