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Nearly 60% Afghans want foreign troops out of country: Poll

December 7, 2010 - Kabul

Nearly 60 percent of Afghans want foreign troops to leave their country now or start leaving by next summer, the date originally promised by US President Barack Obama for the beginning of a pullout, according to a media poll.

According to a major national poll conducted last month in Afghanistan for four major news organizations-the Washington Post, ABC News, the BBC and the German television network ARD, barely one in three Afghans believe that over 100,000 foreign troops could provide them security.

The Globe and Mail quoted the survey report as saying that only one in six Afghans voiced support for foreign forces staying longer than next summer.

On being asked their opinion about foreign forces that would stay back till 2014 to train Afghan forces, 40 percent of the respondents said that they want foreign forces to leave even if the violence gets worse.

Forty percent of Afghans in the major conflict areas now believe that roadside bombings and other attacks aimed at killing U.S. and foreign forces are justified, the paper said.

However during his brief visit to a U.S. airbase in Afghanistan last week, Obama had made no mention of the pullout plan.

Meanwhile the poll also found that less than 10 percent of Afghans prefer to see the Taliban running the country again, which is up from less than one percent five years ago.

When offered a menu of governance options, roughly four Afghans in 10 said they want a democracy, while the same number would opt for an "Islamic state." The rest said they preferred a "strong leader" who rules for life.


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