The new French President, Francois Hollande, intends to announce his nation’s accelerated departure from Afghanistan at the upcoming Chicago summit of NATO members on May 20 and 21, withdrawing all French forces by the end of this year. President Obama will meet with him beforehand, presumably to try to change his mind as Obama has said there would be no “rush to the exits” for NATO.
But Obama might instead consider a new poll by the CS Monitor that shows a majority of Americans – even Republicans – disagree with his policy of staying to pay and die for another decade in Afghanistan.
By a margin of 63 percent disapproval to 33 percent approval, respondents rejected a description of the deal that will include a US troop presence and billions of dollars in monetary support for Afghan forces in the decade after 2014, according to a Monitor/TIPP poll conducted April 27 to May 4.
…Respondents in the TIPP poll were asked: ”œThe US plans to remove most American forces from Afghanistan by 2014. To help Afghanistan after 2014, the US will sign a 10-year deal that keeps some US troops there and the US will also spend several billion dollars a year on the Afghan military. Do you approve or disapprove of such US involvement in Afghanistan beyond 2014?”
Among Democrats, 13 percent strongly approved, 17 percent somewhat approved, 19 percent somewhat disapproved, and 46 percent strongly disapproved. Among Republicans, the percentages skewed only slightly more positive, 15, 22, 20, and 38, respectively. For independents, the percentages were 12, 21, 15, and 49.
As America approaches it’s own presidential elections in November, neither Obama nor his opponent are listening to the will of the people. May 20th and 21st are likely to see large protests calling upon them to uphold democracy and change their staid course on Afghan withdrawal. This time, there’s unlikely to be a “freedom fry” anywhere in sight.