Popular majorities for or against something do not necessarily translate into policies that conform to majority opinion. There is bi-partisan support for the Afghan war so in the two party system the war can go on without either party feeling that it will be defeated because of popular opposition. There are many who profit from the war as well and the armed forces serves as a means of providing jobs for those who otherwise might swell the ranks of the unemployed.
There will be cutbacks in health care and other social services and state governments will be reduced to asking workers for unpaid work days and paying debts with IOUs but military expenditures will increase and indeed the numbers in the armed forces will probably increase as well. This is from antiwar.com.
Poll: Majority in US Oppose Both Wars
Posted By Jason Ditz A new AP-GfK poll released today shows a majority of Americans opposed to the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The numbers also reveal growing concern that the president will be able to meet his goals, particularly in Iraq.
The Iraq War was opposed 63-34, while the slightly more popular Afghan War was opposed 53-44. Both numbers split strongly along party lines, with roughly two thirds of Republican supporting each war. Only 10 percent of Democrats support the Iraq War while only 26 support the Afghan War, which has been the foreign policy centerpiece for the Obama Administration.
Other polls have showed growing opposition among allies for their own nations’ contribution to the Afghan War, and it seems that as the war has become a more prominent part of American foreign policy with the Obama Administration’s escalations that opposition is rubbing off on Americans as well.
The governments of some of those nations, Britain and Germany in particular, have been rock solid in their commitment to continue the war despite popular opposition, and likewise Vice President Joe Biden has insisted that the rising death toll in Afghanistan is “worth” it. The Netherlands however is planning to end its commitment by the end of next year, and other nations are considering non-combat roles as a way to quiet domestic opposition to the war. Germany’s Defense Ministry has sought to stem anti-war sentiment by arguing that its not a war at all.
Though the Obama Administration only yesterday insisted that the Iraq pullout remains “on schedule,” which the current plan having the majority of troops out by August 2010 and all troops out by the end of 2011, the snail’s pace of the pullout so far also appears to be sewing pessimism about the plan’s chances, with the number who believe the President will have even “most” troops out of Iraq in the next four years dropping to only 68 percent, down from 83 percent before his inauguration.