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Majority Support Afghan Withdrawal, But Diverge on Timing

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As public support for the decade-long war in Afghanistan continues to wane, 72 percent of Americans generally endorse President Obama’s plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday. But when it comes to the nitty-gritty of the plan’s timing, Americans are divided into nearly equal thirds over whether the withdrawal’s timetable is just right, too quick, or too slow.

In his prime-time speech on June 22, Obama announced his plan to bring home 10,000 troops by the end of the year. Obama plans to pull out the remaining 23,000 surge forces by no later than next September -- several months sooner than expected.

Obama was under increasing pressure from his liberal base and some Republican lawmakers to reduce the costs of the war in Afghanistan and prepare for a significant reduction in troops this summer. The death of Osama bin Laden also fueled calls in Congress to start bringing the increasingly unpopular war to a close. With only 23 percent of Americans saying they opposed the plan, the Gallup poll indicates that Obama succeeded in satisfying public opinion.

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