On the heels of President Obama's surprise visit to Afghanistan last week, in which he pledged to "finish the job we started" and "end this war responsibly," the American public’s support for the 11-year conflict has reached a new low, according to a poll.
Just 27% of respondents said they back the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan, the new Associated Press-Gfk poll found. Of the 66% who said they oppose the war, about half said they believe the presence of American troops in Afghanistan is doing more harm than good.
But among all respondents, nearly half -- 48% -- said they think the continued U.S. military presence is doing more to help Afghanistan become a stable democracy.
The poll also indicated a steep decline in support for the war among Republicans. Just 37% of Republican respondents said they back the war, down from 58% last year. Support among Democrats also dropped, from 30% to 19%, while it remained at 27% for independents.
President Obama has pledged to keep American troops in Afghanistan until the end of 2014, though a small counter-terrorism force may remain after the drawdown. There are currently about 88,000 U.S. troops there, plus forces from other NATO allies.