Fall in US public support for Afghan war "worrisome": Jones
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Last Updated: Friday, August 13, 2010, 23:33
Washington: President Barack Obama's national security advisor has voiced concern about Americans growing weary of the war in Afghanistan, despite what he called apparent "elements of success."

Asked in an interview whether US engagement in Afghanistan risked the same loss of support that undermined the war in Vietnam, James Jones replied that such a prospect was "very worrisome."

"The biggest fear would be that we might get to a point where we decide that we can't turn this violence around," the retired US Marine Corps general told CNN yesterday, adding that he doubted that would happen.

A USA Today/Gallup opinion poll released earlier this month indicated that 60 per cent of Americans thought the situation for the United States in Afghanistan was "very or moderately bad."

Public support for Obama's management of the conflict meanwhile fell to 36 per cent, from 48 per cent in February.

On the progress of the war in Afghanistan, Jones said: "The elements of success are all present, and they are visible. We know what they are. We are working very hard with both sides, on both sides of the (Afghan-Pakistan) border."

"Specifically in Pakistan, we need to see more activity on the part of the Pakistani army to go after the insurgents in the safe havens that allow the transit between Afghanistan and Pakistan to go on," he added.

"This is fundamentally important." Jones acknowledged that parts of the Pakistan military "have played both sides in years past, because of their uncertainty with regard to our long-term stay and long-term commitment."

"Hopefully," he said, those elements will become "increasingly part of the solution."


First Published: Friday, August 13, 2010, 23:33

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