Most 'remain against Afghan war'
Most people in the UK continue to oppose Britain's military operations in Afghanistan, a BBC survey suggests.
Of 1,010 people polled on the eighth anniversary of the start of operations, 56% were opposed, 37% in favour, 6% unsure and 1% refused to answer.
Three years ago 53% of those polled were opposed, and 31% were in favour.
The cabinet is due to meet in the next week to decide on sending more troops, amid reports that the Army is asking for an extra 1,000 soldiers.
Opposition to conflict
This year the number of British military personnel in the country rose from 8,000 to just over 9,000 - the second largest deployment of any nation.
Despite government efforts to make the case for its military strategy, there has been little change in support since an identical poll in 2006.
Half of all men surveyed said they were opposed to the conflict and 65% of women also expressed opposition.
Of the overall 56% of respondents against the operations, there were more opposed aged 65 and over than any other age group at 60%.
Among young adults aged 18 to 24 that figure fell to 53% - the least of any age group.
The cabinet is expected to meet in the next week to consider army plans to send more soldiers to Helmand.
Gen Sir David Richards, the new head of the Army, is believed to want an extra 1,000 troops - Michael Codner, Director of Military Sciences at the Royal United Services Institute, has told the BBC.
But it is thought that the government may decide to send an additional 500 soldiers from the UK, with the other 500 being redeployed to Helmand province from elsewhere in Afghanistan.
The former army chief, Gen Sir Richard Dannatt, has said Mr Brown refused a request from the military for 2,000 extra personnel - a claim denied by Downing Street.
Mr Codner says Britain needs to maintain its influence with the US with a consistent and reliable contribution of military forces.
"There is a financial and human cost in this strategy which the nation must either pay, or accept that it has lost its presumed status and influence and can relax and be a normal European country that does not take hard power seriously," he wrote in an article sent to the BBC.
The survey comes at the same time as a BBC Radio 4 panel discussion on Afghanistan, due to be broadcast on Wednesday 7 October at 2000 BST.
In it, Lindsay German, convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, said the conflict was "mission impossible" and would prove to be an "unwinnable war".
But Brig Buster Howes, head of overseas operations at the Ministry of Defence, insisted that "significant clear, tangible progress" was being made.
And Eric Joyce MP, a former aide to the defence secretary, warned that the fact the UK was making a "disproportionate effort in comparison with our allies" would affect the public's attitude towards the conflict.
He added: "We certainly have to celebrate everything our troops do on the ground, but we also have to listen very very carefully to what public opinion is saying and we haven't done enough of that up to now."
The war began on 7 October, 2001, in response to the 11 September attacks on New York - a combination of the US military's Operation Enduring Freedom and the British military's Operation Herrick.