The New York Times‘ Alissa Rubin (5/2/12) reports of President Barack Obama’s trip to Afghanistan:
The trip communicated something of vital importance to the Afghans: reassurance that the United States is not in an all-out scramble to get away.
It’s not clear what the basis for Rubin’s claim that “reassurance” that the U.S. is in no hurry to leave Afghanistan is “of vital importance” to Afghans. A poll taken in 2010 on behalf of the Washington Post, ABC, BBC and the German broadcaster ARD found that 55 percent of the Afghan public supported the rapid withdrawal of foreign troops (GlobalPost, 12/9/10). A 2011 poll by the International Council on Security and Development (5/11) found that 76 percent of respondents in the north of Afghanistan believed NATO military operations were bad for the Afghan people, as did 87 percent of respondents in the south. A March 2012 poll by the German Institute for Social Research and Statistical Analysis (PressTV, 4/17/12) reported 60 percent support for early withdrawal of U.S. forces.
Based on available evidence, it sounds like news that Americans plan to stay in their country would be of vital importance to Afghans. But “reassurance” is not the word for it.