US sceptical about Afghan war - poll

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US Marines arrange their equipment as US troops arrive in Kandahar after their withdrawal from the Camp Bastion in Afghanistan on 26 October 2014Image source, AFP
Image caption,
US Marines prepare to leave an allied base in Helmand province

Americans are sharply divided as to the value of the nation's intervention in Afghanistan, a new BBC poll suggests.

Fewer than half of respondents said the the conflict was worthwhile for the US.

Two-thirds of participants were sceptical that US involvement left the Afghan government able to defend its own people without assistance.

But Americans seem to be more optimistic than British people about the country's prospects. The UK forces finally withdrew on Sunday.

In a similar poll conducted in the UK, only 24% said sending UK troops to Afghanistan has left that nation better off.

The US entered in its longest military conflict 13 years ago in Afghanistan, but today only 28% of respondents say America is safer as a result.

The BBC poll found Republicans were more likely than Democrats to consider US involvement in the Middle Eastern country worthwhile, at 54% to 43%.

Image source, Press Association
Image caption,
British troops prepared to depart Camp Bastion

Republicans - members of the political party which spearheaded the military intervention - are also currently less likely to say Afghan forces can protect their country without further US assistance.

Britons views on the conflict were found to be even more negative than Americans.

Only 14% of UK respondents say the international intervention made the European nation safer.

More than two-thirds of participants said UK involvement was not worthwhile.

As the US plans to end its combat mission in Afghanistan this year, nearly 9,800 troops will remain in country for training and counter-insurgency support.

With the closing of Camp Bastion, only some UK special forces and trainers in Kabul will remain.