1 in 2 believe Afghan war not making UK safer

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The Independent Online

Almost half the country believes the war in Afghanistan is doing nothing to reduce the threat of terrorism on Britain's streets, according to a poll out today.

On the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks in the US, 49 per cent of people interviewed in a Populus survey for ITV News said military operations in Afghanistan were not reducing the terror threat in the UK.

A further 27 per cent said the war was reducing the threat of terrorism but did not justify the loss of UK service personnel, with just 17 per cent saying that Britain's continuing military presence in the country makes a terrorist attack less likely and goes some way to justifying British military deaths.

The poll suggests a growing lack of support for the war in Afghanistan following a bloody summer which has seen the British military death toll since the start of operations in October 2001 rise to 213.

Gordon Brown's official spokesman said the Prime Minister had used a speech last week to set out Britain's objectives in Afghanistan and would continue to emphasise the importance of operations to Britain's security.

"We continue to communicate that and get people to understand that this comes back to the overriding issue as we all know of ensuring that the streets of the UK are safer as a result," the spokesman said.

:: Populus interviewed a random sample of 1,005 adults by telephone between 4 and 6 September. Interviews were conducted across the country and results were weighted to be representative of all adults.