Nearly three-quarters of veterans surveyed and almost 70 percent of troops’ family members support a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, according to a new poll from a conservative activist group released Wednesday.
The results are an increase from identical questions in last year’s poll by Concerned Veterans for America, which has close ties to the conservative Koch brothers’ network and the Trump administration. For much of the last year, the group has been leading public efforts to convince lawmakers and the White House to severely curtail overseas military operations.
“I think this shows the fatigue of almost two decades of war,” said Nate Anderson, executive director of the group. “And I think there is increased awareness among the American public about how long we have been fighting.”
The survey, conducted April 7 to 10, includes responses from about 700 military veterans and about 800 military family members.
About 57 percent of veterans surveyed said they feel the United States should be less engaged in military conflicts overseas, an increase of about 9 percent from last year. Only 7 percent said they think the country should be more involved.
In Afghanistan specifically, 73 percent of veterans surveyed support a full withdrawal of American military forces, and 69 percent of family members voiced the same opinion. In the 2019 poll, that figure was about 60 percent for each group.
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More than half of the veterans who backed a full withdrawal offered strong support for the idea.