Americans back troop surge, oppose withdrawal date

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New York, Dec.10 (ANI): A new CBS News/New York Times poll finds that Americans have narrowly approved US President Barack Obama's decision to send more troops to the country, with 51 percent offering their approval. Forty-three percent disapprove.

There is a clear partisan divide on the issue, and it reflects the fact that Obama's decision to deploy more troops has garnered more support from the opposition party than from his own.

Two in three Republicans back the troop surge, while just 27 percent disapprove. By contrast, just 42 percent of Democrats approve of the decision to deploy more troops, while 53 percent disapprove.

Independents are roughly evenly divided.

The president did not set a specific date for full withdrawal of troops in his speech, but he said troops would start coming home in July of 2011.

Asked if setting a deadline for troop withdrawal is a good idea, just 41 percent of those surveyed said yes. The majority - 55 percent - called it a bad idea.

On this issue, the Democrats support a timetable for troop withdrawal, while Republicans and independents do not.

While they oppose a timetable, a majority of Americans say they are not willing to have large numbers of troops in Afghanistan for more than two years.

Just ten percent of those surveyed support a tax increase to pay for the war. A majority (53 percent) say it should be paid for through spending cuts, while 19 percent favour adding to the budget deficit.

Assessments of the war continue to be highly negative. Thirty percent say things are going well for the U.S. in Afghanistan, while 60 percent say they are going badly. That's a slight improvement in perception from last month, when just 23 percent said things were going well. (ANI)

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