Digital Journal, December 30, 2009

Poll: Canadians say the war in Afghanistan is unwinnable

An all-out sense that 30,000 extra troops are going to defeat the enemy, I don't think people are buying that

A recent telephone survey suggests that 66 per cent of Canadians believe the military build-up in Afghanistan will not defeat the Taliban, while only 34 per cent think the war in Afghanistan can be won.

As the war in Afghanistan enters its ninth year and still continues, violence going up and military presence increases, majority of Canadians believe that it’s pointless because it’s unwinnable. A new survey released on Tuesday by Ipsos Reid shows that 66 per cent of Canadians think the war in unwinnable, according to AFP. While the people who do think the war is winnable remains in the low 30s.

While other polls have showed Obama’s approval rating slipping below 50 percent, this poll asked, “As a whole, are the decisions being made by the Obama administration good for America? Or bad for America?” To that, 58 percent answered “bad for America,” 37 percent said good and 6 percent were not sure., Dec. 21, 2009

Two-thirds of telephone respondents disagreed with the statement: “the build-up of troops will ultimately create a military victory over the Taliban.” Canadians remain pessimistic even though United States President Barack Obama will send an additional 30,000 troops to the region and NATO also will send several thousand more.

Press TV notes that Canada has 2,800 soldiers in the southern Kandahar province but 134 soldiers have died since they entered in 2002.

Senior Vice President of Ipsos Reid Public Affairs, John Wright, said, reports, “An all-out sense that 30,000 extra troops are going to defeat the enemy, I don't think people are buying that. We do have some benchmarks I suppose and that would be the election of the Karzai government. But even there it seems to be fraught with fraud and accusations that it's completely riddled with corruption."

Nevertheless, Afghanistan Commander General Stanley McChrystal recently told Ottawa that by the time US forces withdraw in July 2011, Taliban militants and insurgents “will have been reversed.”

The telephone survey was conducted on behalf of Canwest News Service and Global National between Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 with 1,038 adults and contains a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.

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