American voters believe what happens in Afghanistan matters to their safety here at home, and more approve of sending additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan since President Donald Trump laid out his military plan.   Even so, voters are split over how Trump is handling the situation, and disapproval outweighs approval on a troop increase.

That’s according to the latest Fox News Poll.

The president gave a speech at Fort Myer, Virginia on August 21 about his plans for Afghanistan, including sending an unspecified number of additional U.S. troops there.

The idea of sending more U.S. forces to Afghanistan has grown on voters.  Forty percent approve of that action, an 11-point increase since June when 29 percent approved.


The shift comes from double-digit increases among Republicans (+16), men (+12), whites (+12), women (+11) and independents (+10).

Still, more voters disapprove (48 percent) than approve (40 percent) of sending additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan.  

Voters split on Trump’s job performance on Afghanistan:  43 percent approve vs. 43 percent disapprove.  That’s still better than ratings of his performance on other foreign hot-spots like North Korea (43-50) and Russia (35-56).

Most voters, 76 percent, believe that what happens in Afghanistan matters to their security here in the United States, up from 71 percent in 2013.  That number went as high as 83 percent in December 2009, when President Barack Obama announced plans to send an additional 30,000 troops there.

By a 2-to-1 margin, veterans voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election, according to the Fox News Exit Poll.

Majorities of veterans approve of sending additional U.S. forces to Afghanistan (54 percent approve vs. 38 percent disapprove) and Trump’s handling of the issue (58-36).

Sixty-eight percent of veterans think the Afghan conflict is linked to U.S. security.  Twenty-seven percent don’t feel that way.

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,006 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from August 27-29, 2017. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.