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Amid British furor over Afghan rescue mission, war support plummets

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The poll also found that 41 percent of Britons want their troops withdrawn entirely and a further 19 percent want the troop level reduced. The poll found 41 percent of Germans want a full withdrawal and 16 percent want a troop reduction.

Majorities in all countries surveyed indicated increasing support for economic reconstruction, except in Britain, where 49 percent approved.

Polling was carried out in late June, before both the daring commando raid to free Mr. Farrell on Wednesday and a German airstrike last Friday that killed 70 people, some of them civilians, in the previously quiescent Afghan province of Kunduz.

Both events, at least for now, have increased opposition to the war.

In pacifist-leaning Germany, the deadliest combat strike by German troops since World War II has become a hot campaign issue, with the country headed for elections at the end of the month.

In Britain, the operation to free Farrell might have been widely greeted with somber pride in another climate, but instead, questions are being raised about the wisdom of going ahead with the raid.

Criticism of journalist

Military commentators have criticized Farrell, a respected journalist with joint British-Irish citizenship who was also briefly abducted in Iraq in 2004, for apparently ignoring warnings not to venture into a Taliban-controlled area where he was kidnapped.

Farrell told The New York Times, his employer, that he had received information that the road to the village hit by the airstrike and where he was taken hostage, was safe.

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