Boost for Obama, Afghan war

2009-12-08 22:43

Washington - Public support for the Afghan war and for US President Barack Obama have jumped nearly 10 points since his decision last week to send 30 000 additional troops there, according to a poll out on Tuesday.

Americans support the troop surge by a 58-37% margin, and Obama's plan for a drawdown to begin in July 2011, by a 60-32% margin, the December 1-6 Quinnipiac University survey of 2 313 registered voters said.

Overall approval of the Afghan war jumped nine points to 57-35% in favour, from 48-41% in the previous Quinnipiac poll on November 18, while Obama's handling of the war got a 7% boost to a 45-45% split.

On November 18, Obama's approval rating for the Afghan war was in the negative by a 38-49% margin.

Bolstering support

"President Barack Obama's nationally televised speech explaining his policy and troop buildup has worked, at least in the short term, in bolstering support for the war effort and his decisions," said Peter Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"The American people tend to rally around their presidents in military matters, at least for a while," he added.

However, by a wide margin of 66-26%, Americans said Obama does not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize he will be awarded this week, the poll said.

The proportion of Americans who believed "eliminating the threat from terrorists operating from Afghanistan is a worthwhile goal for American troops to fight and possibly die for," was basically unchanged at 64-30% from the November 18 poll of 65-29%.

Similarly, most of those in favour of the war on terror in Afghanistan believed by a 52-38% margin that the United States will not be successful in eliminating the threat from that country - only a slight change from 53-36% three weeks ago.

The poll had a 2% margin of error.