In June, 102 NATO soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, setting a new monthly record since the war began in 2001. 58 U.S. troops were killed, which nearly tied last year’s October record of 59.
Since 2001, the United States has spent over $280 billion on the Afghanistan War, a figure that has begun to spike since President Obama took office. Yet, despite two troop surges, a significant increase in funding, and a substantial rise in Drone attacks under the Obama administration, U.S. prospects remain tenuous.
General Petraeus, whom President Obama selected to replace General Stanley McChrystal, recently stated that it will be years before Afghan forces can effectively manage their own security. As a result, unless current policy changes, Americans can reasonably expect rising casualties and rising costs for the foreseeable future.
As for public sentiment regarding the Afghanistan War, recent polling data revealed that 25% of Americans support bringing home U.S. troops immediately, and 18% support a firm timetable. 43% oppose a timetable of any kind, and 14% remain undecided.
Republicans and Independents are opposed to a firm timetable, while a plurality of Democrats advocate immediate withdrawal. Republicans are also more supportive of sending additional troops compared to Independents and Democrats.
Addressing the war’s potential outcome, 41% of Americans currently believe we can win the war, 36% believe we cannot win, and 23% remain undecided.