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Thursday 27 Nov 2014

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Public view on Afghanistan remains constant, poll suggests

An ICM poll conducted for a special BBC Radio 4 debate, Afghanistan: Is It Mission Impossible?, found that 37% of those asked supported British military operations in Afghanistan, 56% are opposed, 1% refused to answer the question and 6% didn't know.

The results are in line with those found in a similar poll conducted almost three years ago.

Despite the rising casualty rate among British soldiers and widespread concerns about corruption in the presidential election in Afghanistan, the poll suggests that opposition to the operation has risen only slightly and support for it remains level too.

Poll details

Poll results comparing 2009 to 2006:
Support 37% – 31%
Oppose 56% – 53%
Refused 1% – 3%
Don't Know 6% – 14%

Afghanistan: Is It Mission Impossible?, chaired by Eddie Mair, will be broadcast on Radio 4 tomorrow (Wednesday 7 October) at 8.00pm.

Expert participants in the debate include:

Francesc Vendrell, who was the European Union's Special Representative for Afghanistan from 2002 until last year. Before that he was the Personal Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan;

Brigadier Buster Howes, who is the Head of Overseas Operations at the MoD;

Eric Joyce, a former Major in the Army and now Labour MP. Last month he resigned as an aide to the Defence Secretary, calling on Gordon Brown to make clear to the British people that the Afghanistan campaign was "time limited".

Others taking part in the debate are Lindsey German, a senior organiser of the Stop the War Coalition, and Dr John Mackinlay, a counter-insurgency expert from Kings College London.

Notes to Editors

ICM interviewed a random sample of 1,010 adults aged 18+ by telephone between 2 and 4 October 2009.

Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.

ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.


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