- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 19, 2014

For the first time since the conflict began in 2001, Americans are just as likely to say the war in Afghanistan was a mistake as to say it was not, Gallup said.

Despite overwhelming support for military intervention at the start, 49 percent of Americans now say involvement in the region was a mistake compared to 48 percent who say it was not, the pollsters found.

Only about one in 10 Americans thought military action was a mistake when the United States launched its Afghan campaign in November 2001 — a response to those who helped al Qaeda terrorists responsible for the attacks on Sept. 11, Gallup said.

It was the most positive response to the “mistake” question since Gallup first asked it during the Korean War in 1950.

But Gallup said American dissatisfaction with the war in Afghanistan has steadily risen over the years, despite some ups and downs, inching up to 25 percent in 2004 and 40 percent in 2010.

Republicans and independents who lean Republican were significantly less likely than Democrats to view the war as a mistake.

“U.S. involvement in Afghanistan began under a Republican president, George W. Bush, but it has continued under Barack Obama, a Democratic president,” Gallup said. “Therefore, Republicans’ higher levels of support may be related to a Republican president’s initiation of the war, or an ideological inclination to support military involvement.”

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