Poll finds many want troops out of Afghanistan

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 21, 2012



LAPLACE – Stretching back to October 2001, armed forces from the United States and other NATO countries have occupied Afghanistan in an attempt to dismantle the dictatorial Taliban regime so a more democratic form of government could be created.

The occupation has been the topic of controversy as a series of recent actions by U.S. forces have drawn the ire of many Afghan leaders. Most recently, U.S. soldier Robert Bales has been accused in a rampage on Afghan civilians in which 16 people were killed. The incident has ignited debate on whether American forces should remain in the country any longer.

With that in mind, L’Observateur last week asked readers what they think the next course of action should be. A resounding majority (60 percent) says that a full troop withdrawal should begin immediately. There are others, however, who say the forces should be limited and focus should remain on training Afghan soldiers. Very few readers believe that American forces should stay the course and not move out until the existing 2014 deadline.

A complete breakdown is as follows:

• 20 percent said, “The U.S. should begin to limit forces and focus on training Afghan forces.

• 11 percent said, “U.S. forces should stay the course and not move out until the 2014 deadline.”

• 59 percent said, “A full troop withdrawal should begin immediately.”

• 11 percent said, “Troops should stay until the Afghan Army can maintain order on its own.”