Science & Tech

Strong student support found for war

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Institute of Politics survey finds that students support Afghanistan war

American college students strongly support U.S. war objectives in Afghanistan aimed against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist network, according to a survey conducted by the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The survey was released in early November 2001. Support among undergraduates for air strikes and ground troops was high, though about 10 percent below that of the general population, the survey found. For instance, 79 percent of college students support U.S.-led air strikes, compared with 92 percent of the general population as reported by an ABC News survey on Oct. 8 and 9. And 68 percent of college students favor the use of ground troops, compared with 80 percent of the general population as reported by a CNN survey on Oct. 19 and 20. This poll was part of an annual study of college students’ attitudes toward public service and government. It is unique because it was created and analyzed by a group Harvard college undergraduates, led by Erin Ashwell ’02 and Trevor Dryer ’02, with the assistance of John DellaVolpe, president of Boston-based opinion research firm SWR/DellaVolpe.