Saturday, December 8, 2007

Only one in four Dutch back Afghan mission

As well as losing supporters for the war in Iraq the same is happening to some degree in the Afghan war. I haven't seen polls lately for US support for Afghanistan but I would not be surprised it was in decline as well. However just as in the Netherlands the government is going ahead giving support in spite of public opinion.

Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research
Only One-in-Four Dutch Back Afghan Mission
December 08, 2007
(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Few adults in the Netherlands are satisfied with their government’s rationale to extend the Dutch military mission in Afghanistan until August 2010, according to a poll by TNS Nipo released by RTL. 24 per cent of respondents agree with the decision, while 43 per cent disagree and 31 per cent have no strong feelings either way.

Afghanistan has been the main battleground in the war on terrorism. The conflict began in October 2001, after the Taliban regime refused to hand over Osama bin Laden, prime suspect in the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Al-Qaeda operatives hijacked and crashed four airplanes on Sept. 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people.

The Netherlands committed troops to the war on terrorism in Afghanistan. At least 730 soldiers—including 12 Dutch—have died in the conflict, either in support of the United States-led Operation Enduring Freedom or as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

On Nov. 23, the Dutch cabinet agreed on the continuation of the Dutch mission in Uruzgan, in southern Afghanistan, for another two years. The number of soldiers will be reduced from 1,650 to 1,200. The cross-party agreement provides for a full withdrawal after the end of the two-year extension.

On Nov. 30, Dutch minister president Jan Peter Balkenende dismissed the possibility of a new extension, saying, "This wasn’t a decision taken overnight. This mission will end on Aug. 1, 2010, whatever happens. The main objectives of the mission are to stabilize the country, support the government, army and police, and train Afghan units so that they can eventually take over."

Polling Data

Do you agree or disagree with the decision to extend the Dutch military mission in Afghanistan until August 2010?

Agree
24%

Disagree
43%

Neutral
31%

Not sure
2%


Source: TNS Nipo / RTL

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