Support for the war in Afghanistan has rebounded, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, although most Americans continue to say the war is not worth its costs and most want large numbers of U.S. troops home in the summer.
Overall, 43 percent of Americans say the war in Afghanistan has been worth the fighting, up from 31 percent in March, before the targeted killing of Osama bin Laden.
Since March, support for the war is up 15 percentage points among Democrats, 13 points among liberals and 12 points among moderates, all three groups that had been increasingly skeptical of the war in late 2010 and early 2011.
Republicans, who have been consistently more supportive of the war, showed very little change following bin Laden’s death — 50 percent said the war was worth the cost in March, 53 percent do so in the new survey.
Americans across the political spectrum favor withdrawing a substantial number of troops from Afghanistan this summer. But only a majority of liberals believe it will actually happen. Fully 73 percent of all adults say the U.S. should withdraw troops this summer, but just 43 percent believe the U.S. will do so, as President Obama has committed to doing.
The disconnect in desire for troop withdrawals and belief in the likelihood of a drawdown is largest among Democrats – almost 9 in 10 Democrats say the U.S. should withdraw troops, but just 46 percent think the U.S. will bring them home.
Among Republicans, 59 percent say they U.S. should withdraw troops while 42 percent think a withdrawal will actually occur. A slight majority of liberals – 54 percent – believe the U.S. will withdraw troops in the coming months, compared with 43 percent of moderates and 35 percent of conservatives.