When it comes to the war in Afghanistan, Dave Stevens does not mince his words. The retired truck driver from Fayetteville, Arkansas is unequivocal about the $2bn a week the US spends on the effort.
“They’re not our friends – they’re in cahoots with the Taliban,” he says of the Afghan government. “They just want our money.”
Many of Mr Stevens’ compatriots feel the same way about the conflict in which US forces have been engaged for almost a decade. A Pew poll published this week – the day before Barack Obama, the president, announced that the 33,000-strong troop “surge” would pull out of Afghanistan by next September – found that for the first time a majority wanted US soldiers out of that theatre as soon as possible.