War in Afghanistan: Osama Bin Laden's Death Spurs Debate Over Troops' Future


"What we have to be careful of is ... that there is a correlation made between Osama bin Laden's death and al Qaeda, because that's not the fact. And we have to continue to commit the resources, personnel, money against this threat until we are certain that it is completely dismantled," said Rick Nelson, director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former White House National Security Council member.

"We can't leave Afghanistan at this juncture," he said. "There is still a significant terrorist threat emanating from western Pakistan. As long as that threat exists, the United States is going to have maintain some presence in that region of the world in order to be able to respond if there is an attack."

The unpopularity of the war in Afghanistan reached a historic level late last year. An ABC News/Washington Post poll in December found that 60 percent of Americans thought the war in Afghanistan had not been worth fighting, while only 34 percent said it had.

But recent polls show that view may be shifting quickly. The number of Americans who now see a successful future in Afghanistan has spiked since bin Laden was killed Sunday, according to a new poll by The Washington Post and the Pew Research Center. In the new poll, 64 percent expect success, up from 49 percent in a December Pew poll. Nearly half of all Americans say they are more confident in the U.S. mission in Afghanistan because of bin Laden's death.

Despite the renewed confidence, nearly half -- 48 percent of Americans -- polled said U.S. troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan "as soon as possible."

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