A new New York Times/CBS News poll shows that more Americans than ever want the U.S. to end its involvement in Afghanistan, with 69 percent now saying the U.S. shouldn't be fighting there. That's a huge jump from just four months ago, when 53 percent said it was time to go. Why the big change? Here, three theories:
1. Tensions are extremely high between U.S. soldiers and Afghans
The surge of disdain for the war "isn't entirely surprising," says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. The past two months have seen at least two controversial events: Shortly "after American forces inadvertently burned copies of the Koran" at a U.S. base, Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales allegedly murdered 17 Afghan civilians, explosive events which, together, signal that the U.S. might be overstaying its welcome. This was bound to speed us along the "inexorable path to withdrawal."
2. It's getting harder to justify risking American lives
Something definitely changed after those recent violent setbacks, says Allahpundit at Hot Air. We saw "a week's worth of riots and killings after the Korans were burned, but no riots and killings" after Bales allegedly "went berserk" and murdered 17 villagers. The confusing fact that Afghans would shoot Americans in the back of the head for burning a book, and do nothing following the slaughter of innocent women and children, apparently made many Americans conclude that our culture and Afghanistan's are "hopelessly incompatible and it's time to call the whole thing off" rather than sacrifice more American lives.
3. Americans never agreed to such a long war
It sure looks like "war fatigue," says Mark Thompson at TIME. "The U.S. public never signed up for a decade-long war in Afghanistan." Blame the Bush administration, which "decided to try to rebuild a war-wracked country instead of simply ousting the Taliban after 9/11," and the Obama administration, which "doubled-down as a way of proving its martial bona fides." And don't forget Congress, which never officially declared war, failing to make our mission clear or attainable.
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