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Obama Afghan Speech Won Some Converts, but Did Not Change Most Minds
President Obama's speech at West Point laying out his Afghan policy made 34 percent more likely to support his plan, although 50 percent of those who heard the speech said it made no difference to their opinion, according to a CNN/Opinion Research poll conducted Dec. 2-3. Sixteen percent said the speech made them less likely to back the administration.Get the newPD toolbar!Forty-two percent of Americans said they watched the West Point speech.Sixty-four percent of those polled believe the safety and security of the U.S. are at stake in Afghanistan while 34 percent do not.Asked about criticism of how long it took Obama to complete his policy review and announce his decision, 56 percent said he took the amount of time necessary while 43 percent said he took too long.Sixty-three believe that U.S. action in Afghanistan is morally justified while 35 percent do not.That said, Americans have a pessimistic outlook on what will be achieved.Fifty-seven percent predict the most likely outcome in Afghanistan will be stalemate, while 29 percent believe victory can be achieved and 12 percent expect defeat.Two-thirds say it is unlikely that in the next few years Afghanistan will have a democratic government that will not be overthrown by terrorists or the Taliban. Nearly the same percentage don't believe the Afghan military and police will be able to ensure safety and security without U.S. assistance or that the Afghan government will be able to prevent terrorists from using the country as a base of operations for planning attacks against the U.S.