New numbers from The Washington Post as President Obama is expected to announce a decision on prospective troop increases within days:
He has a formidable sales job ahead to accomplish this: 52 percent in this poll see the war in Afghanistan as not worth its costs and nearly as many trust the Republicans in Congress to deal with the war as trust Obama.
The lengthy debate that the administration has pursued on Afghanistan strategy has driven Obama’s numbers down on the issue, with a 48-percent plurality disapproving of his handling, although a 55-percent majority believe he’ll ultimately choose a workable strategy. But!
Asked to choose between a larger influx of troops to fight al-Qaeda and the Taliban and train the Afghan military, and a smaller number of new U.S. forces more narrowly focused on training, Americans divide 46 percent for the bigger number, 45 percent for the smaller one.
Meanwhile, Derrick Crowe reports that the Congressional Progressive Caucus is requesting to meet with Obama when he returns from Asia to discuss “rethinking” Afghanistan. A letter signed by Reps. Michael Honda (D-Calif.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and James McGovern (D-Wash.) expresses concern over the widespread corruption and political illegitimacy of the Hamid Karzai government, and reiterates a concern of some signatories for a “timeline for eventual troop withdrawal.”