Poll: Americans back troop withdrawal
Most Americans want the US troops to be brought back from Afghanistan swiftly.
Hours before the US president's nationwide speech on Afghanistan, a new poll shows that most Americans want a prompt drawdown of US forces from the war-ravaged country.
The Pew Research Center poll found that 56 percent of Americans now want the 100,000 US forces currently stationed in Afghanistan to be brought home as quickly as possible.
This is the first time that most Americans want a speedy withdrawal from the crisis-ridden country.
The Pew poll found that two-thirds of the Democrats and the majority of independent individuals also support pulling out soldiers.
This is while just 39 percent want US troops to stay in Afghanistan until security is restored to the state. The rate shows a sharp reduction compared with last year when 53 percent felt that way.
In December 2009, US President Barack Obama promised that the US would start to pull its troops out of Afghanistan in July 2011. The White House, however, later announced that a sizeable contingent of combat troops would remain in Afghanistan until at least 2014.
Considering the cost of the war, the death of US combat troops on an almost daily basis, and the public opinion solidly against continuing the 10-year conflict, Obama is under intense pressure to make a dramatic pullout announcement in July more because of domestic politics than military strategy.
Many political analysts say Obama knows he must make a significant gesture on Afghanistan to increase his chances for re-election in the 2012 presidential election.