Concluding observations

The patterns that we can observe with respect to opinions on the second phase of the war in Afghanistan, that started around 2005, in many ways resemble those of phase one in 2001 and those on the war on terrorism in general. Unlike phase one, which lasted shortly because the Taliban were initially successfully driven from power, after 2005, support for the war started to decline fairly quickly and monotonously in both the US and Europe, and soon supporters of the war were outnumbered by those who wanted to see the troops withdrawn as soon as possible if not immediately. Over time, the gap between opinions in the US and in Europe diminished but remained in the 15-20 percent range. The gap can be explained by two factors. One is the general (ideological and dispositional) difference between Europeans and Americans on the use of force per se in general, as shown in previous chapters. The other consists of different appreciations between Americans and Europeans of what the purpose of using military force should be, in general or in this specific case: to use it to wage combat and defeat the enemy or to stabilize the country to create the conditions of peace (see also Table 5.9).

 
Source
< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >