President Trump has made clear his determination to reduce America’s military footprint in Afghanistan, regardless of the consequences. The most recent version of Mr. Trump’s plan—a reduction to 2,500 troops by early January—may not satisfy those pushing for a complete withdrawal, but it will go further than most of Trump’s military advisers and the GOP leadership in Congress want to go. Only his most ardent supporters will be truly happy.
The American public’s attitudes toward Afghanistan are nuanced.
For all the talk of war-weariness, bring-them-home sentiment doesn’t appear to be forcing Mr. Trump’s hand. The American public’s attitudes toward Afghanistan are nuanced, according to a National Opinion Research Center survey conducted on our behalf in September and October. After 19 years of fighting, the war in Afghanistan has been called America’s longest, but many Americans don’t seem to be paying attention. Forty-one percent of our respondents had no opinion on whether the U.S. has accomplished its goals in Afghanistan.
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