Thursday, January 22, 2009

Europeans reject war ramp-up

The Financial Times has commissioned a European opinion poll:

Poll shows EU voters resistant on Afghan war
Financial Times

JANUARY 22 - Any attempt by Barack Obama to get European Union members of Nato to send more troops to Afghanistan will be strongly rebuffed by EU voters, according to a new opinion poll for the Financial Times.

As Mr Obama prepares to be sworn in as US president today, a Harris poll for the FT shows that clear majorities in the UK, France, Italy and Germany believe their governments must not send more forces to Afghanistan, irrespective of demands that the new American head of state might make...

While the poll underscores the considerable respect Mr Obama enjoys in these countries, it also reveals the resistance he will face if, as strongly expected, he calls on Europe to do more in the fight against the Taliban.

Some 60 per cent of German respondents to the survey said they would not wish Berlin to send more troops to Afghanistan under any circumstances. Even in the UK, the second largest contributor to Nato's mission in Afghanistan, some 57 per cent of respondents rejected calls for any more British troops to be sent.

In both France and Italy, some 53 per cent of people said their countries should not send troops. Only in Spain is there a majority willing to consider sending additional troops... (link)

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