New poll finds support for Afghanistan war at lowest point ever

But ABC's pollster says that public opinion in war matters to a President's success or failure, and says that these new low numbers of Afghanistan are around where most of the public felt about the Iraq war during President George W. Bush's 2nd term, which you'll remember didn't really go too well for him after 2005.

Negative views of the war for the first time are at the level of those recorded for the war in Iraq, whose unpopularity dragged George W. Bush to historic lows in approval across his second term. On average from 2005 through 2009, 60 percent called that war not worth fighting, the same number who say so about Afghanistan now. (It peaked at 66 percent in April 2007.)

As support for the Iraq war went down, approval of Bush's job performance fell in virtual lockstep, a strongly cautionary note for President Obama. Presidents Truman and Johnson also saw their approval ratings drop sharply during the wars in Korea and Vietnam.

The report does say that many of the troops from the surge that was announced a year ago will begin to come home beginning next summer, though its been expressed frequently in recent weeks that the U.S. won't be pulling out until at least 2014:

"As a result of our integrated efforts in 2010," it said, "we are setting the conditions to begin transition to Afghan security lead in early 2011 and to begin a responsible, conditions-based U.S. troop reduction in July 2011."

The President is scheduled to speak briefly about the report later this morning.

A five page unclassified overview of a  review of President  Obama's strategy for fighting the war in Afghanistan describes both "progress" and "challenges" in "general and restrained terms."  That summary comes from Helene Cooper of the New York Times, and frankly could have been predicted months ago.

What's more interesting, and certainly surprising, is apparently the American public is beginning to wake up to what's being fought in their name over in Afghanistan.  A new ABC News/Washington Post poll released  today shows 60% say the war has not been worth fighting for, while only 34% say it worth all the costs - monetarily, and in the lives and health of our wounded and killed soldiers.

Although there has been so much focus in the American media about President Obama's poll numbers and can he successfully "do a Clinton" and become more centrist as Republicans take over the House next month, most of that discussion has been predicated around the success or unpopularity of domestic issues like health care, the economy, and tax cuts.

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