The Sgt. Robert Bales Spree and Koran Burning Has Dropped Support Of The Afghan War To An All-Time Low

Robert BalesRobert Bales

Photo: Spc. Ryan Hallock, 28th Public Affairs/U.S. Army

Here’s the fallout of the Sgt. Robert Bales and Koran-burning incidents: Americans’ support and confidence for the U.S. war in Afghanistan has hit an all-time low. According to a CBS/New York Times poll released late Monday, support for the war has plummeted to new depths in just four months. A measly 23 per cent of respondents to the survey said the U.S. is “doing the right thing” by fighting in Afghanistan. That compares to a whopping 69 per cent that said the U.S. “should not be involved.”

The 23 per cent also is a 13-point drop from November, and it’s precipitated by a number of incidents that have escalated conflict in recent months.

The most prominent involves Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who has been charged with killing 17 Afghans in a rampage on March 11. He could face the death penalty, the first time the military would execute a service member since 1961. 

Then there was the much publicized Koran-burning incident, which led to a string of violence in the days that followed.

Some other key results from the poll:


How are things going for the U.S. in Afghanistan?

Well: 25%

Badly: 68%


War in Afghanistan mostly a success for U.S.?

Yes: 27%

No: 59%


What should U.S. do now about troops in Afghanistan?

Withdraw sooner: 47%

Keep timetable: 33%

Stay as long as it takes: 17%


Clear idea of U.S. goals in Afghanistan now that bin Laden is dead?

Yes: 42%

No: 55%

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