News

Some Afghans Worry About Diminishing US Public Support for War

Afghan forces stand guard during a security transition ceremony from private security companies to the Afghan government in Kabul, March 15, 2012.
Afghan forces stand guard during a security transition ceremony from private security companies to the Afghan government in Kabul, March 15, 2012.
Brian Padden

In Afghanistan, reaction has been mixed to new U.S. public opinion polls indicating that a majority of Americans no longer support the war in Afghanistan. While anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan is on the rise, it is tempered by fears that a sudden pullout of foreign troops could plunge the country into civil war.

The increased American disillusionment over the continued U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan reflected in recent nationwide polls follows a period of turmoil in Afghanistan.  The killing of 17 Afghan civilians by a U.S. soldier and the inadvertent burning of Qurans at an American military base have increased tensions and undermined trust between Afghan forces and their international coalition partners. The Quran burning incident set off a week of violent anti-American protests and attacks on international forces, and the Taliban suspended peace talks with the U.S. being held in Qatar.

The latest attacks on international forces occurred Monday, when an Afghan soldier killed two British troops in southern Afghanistan and a man believed to be a member of a local police force killed an American soldier in eastern Afghanistan

According to the U.S. Defense Department at least 80 NATO troops have been killed by Afghan security forces since May 2007.

The polls indicate the American public is growing weary of the decade-old war and a growing number of people want President Barack Obama to speed up the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014.

Many Afghans are also weary of the war and want U.S. soldiers involved in crimes and misconduct to be punished.  But on the streets of Kabul, people like Ahmad Balal Zaland do not want international forces to leave Afghanistan prematurely.

“We don't want them to leave because they're the people who actually really help Afghan people and they are the main people who support Afghanistan,” said Zaland.

Sarwar Wazeri fears that if international forces leave now, it will lead to an all-out civil war involving the Afghan security forces, the Taliban and other ethnic and tribal factions.

He says there is still a lot of fighting going on in the country and if foreign forces leave, anarchy will certainly follow.

Despite the drop in American support for the war, President Obama and U.S. military leaders have reiterated their commitment to the 2014 timetable, which calls for gradually turning over portions of the country to Afghan security forces and maintaining a reduced military presence after that to provide support and stability.

Shukria Barakzai, a member of the Afghan parliament's defense committee, says neither the U.S. nor Afghanistan should should make long-term policy decisions based on temporarily inflamed tensions between the U.S. and Afghanistan.

“The Afghan public, also they are tired from everyday casualties, but this is not the time that we should go and choose on an emotional way," said barakzai. "We should think on a mature way how possible is and the consequence and the result of early withdrawal.”

She says both countries need to stay focused on what unites them - the need to fight al-Qaida and other Islamic militant groups, and to ensure regional stability.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs