A Majority of Veterans Want Troops to Return From Afghanistan

Seventeen years after the United States led an invasion of Afghanistan, a majority of the general public — especially military veterans — do not think the seemingly endless war has been successful. Most Americans support bringing US troops home.

According to a new poll conducted by YouGov and released this week, about 57 percent of people living in the United States said they would support a move by the president to remove all troops from Afghanistan. Among military veterans, support for ending the war was even stronger: 69 percent were in favor of bringing the troops home. About 63 percent of the general public and 64 percent of veterans said some or all of the US troops stationed in Afghanistan should return within the next five years.

A majority (53 percent) of those surveyed — including 60 percent of veterans — said the US government does not have a clear military objective in Afghanistan.

After criticizing foreign wars on the campaign trail, President Trump announced a vague strategy for ending the war in Afghanistan last year. However, he also lifted restrictions on wartime spending and gave military commanders on the ground wider latitude to launch attacks without White House permission. Earlier this year, Trump signed a defense spending bill authorizing $69 billion for foreign conflicts such as the war in Afghanistan, the highest price tag since 2014.

The poll was commissioned by the conservative-leaning news site RealClearPolitics and the Charles Koch Institute, a right-libertarian think tank funded by billionaire Charles Koch. Progressives and the anti-war left have opposed the war from the beginning, and growing concern among fiscal conservatives is a clear sign that opposition to the war in Afghanistan crosses ideological and party lines.

“Looking back at the many years of fighting in our longest war, at the successes and setbacks, and the…

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