Based on our online poll of over 1,800 Ceasefire.ca supporters, it is clear that the majority of respondents do not believe that the current path being taken in Afghanistan is the right one.
In fact, less than two percent of respondents still believe that the best course of action for Canada in Afghanistan is to continue attempts to defeat the Taliban through armed conflict. Rather, 45.4 percent would call for the immediate withdrawal of Canadian troops, while 45.6 percent would like Canada to support negotiations with insurgent groups such as the Taliban in order to put an end to the conflict.
The inauguration of the Obama Administration raised hopes within the U.S. anti-Iraq war movement, but it appears to have had little effect on the opinion of a large majority of Ceasefire.ca supporters.
Obama is strongly opposed to the war in Iraq, but he has embraced the war in Afghanistan and has committed thousands more troops. Since 69 percent of respondents said that their opinions were unaffected by the change in U.S. administration, there appears to be a desire for a Canadian policy on Afghanistan that is independent from U.S. policy.
The Obama Administration has made no secret that it hopes for increased commitment from allies in Afghanistan, including Canada. Despite Obama’s enthusiastic reception by the peace movement, only 10 percent of our respondents were more likely to support a Canadian military presence beyond the end of the current mission in 2011, while 21 percent were less likely to do so.
Based on our poll, a more peaceful and diplomatic approach seems to be favoured among respondents, as 40 percent believe that Ceasefire.ca’s primary objective should be ending the war in Afghanistan, while 29 percent think that the focus should be placed on supporting the UN and peacekeeping efforts.