Monday, September 12, 2011
Less than one month after the September 11, 2001 attacks, President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan to end that country’s harboring of al Qaeda terrorists training against the United States. Nearly 10 years later, with Afghanistan now America’s longest war, most Americans think that mission remains unfinished.
Just 21% of Adults believe the original mission behind the war in Afghanistan has been accomplished. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 60% think the mission has not been accomplished, with another 18% not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Thirty-five percent (35%) of Republicans think the mission to end al Qaeda’s safe harbor has been accomplished, but that compares to just 10% of Democrats and 19% of adults not affiliated with either of the major parties. Most Democrats (75%) and most unaffiliated adults (59%) feel the mission has not been accomplished, and even a plurality (47%) of Republicans agrees.
Yet these findings come at a time when 59% of Likely Voters want all U.S. troops brought home from Afghanistan either immediately or within the next year. Just 22% believe the United States has a clearly defined mission in Afghanistan.
Since the killing of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden in early May, belief in this country that al Qaeda, the group he headed, is weaker has surged: 50% now think the group is weaker today than it was before 9/11.
While radical Muslims were the perpetrators of the 9/11 sneak attacks and had tried eight years earlier to topple the World Trade Center, a plurality (44%) of Americans think America’s relationship with the Muslim world is even worse today. Only 11% believe the U.S.-Muslim relationship is better than it was before the 9/11 attacks. Thirty-four percent (34%) view it as about the same.
The national survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on September 9-10, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.Rasmussen subscribers can log in to read the rest of this article.
ORRasmussen Reader subscribers can now get full access to current articles for 1 year for $24.95
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.