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The UK foreign policy debate.


Today, Britain's three leading contenders for Prime Minister will square off for their second televised debate. This time, the focus will be on foreign policy. As a primer, you can view the relevant portions of their manifestos here (for Cameron) here (for Brown) and here (for Clegg).

The debate is expected to center on immigration, Britain's nuclear deterrent and the war in Afghanistan. To set the stage, The Independent has a new poll out assessing the war effort:

The vast majority of voters are hostile to the war in Afghanistan and believe the political parties are failing to give voice to their opposition, a new poll has discovered ahead of the televised leaders' debate on foreign affairs tomorrow.

The ComRes survey for The Independent and ITV News finds that nearly three-quarters of electors view the conflict as "unwinnable" and more than half say they do not understand why British troops are still in Afghanistan....

High levels of voter dissatisfaction with Britain's eight-year military involvement in Afghanistan were uncovered by the survey. According to ComRes, 72 per cent believe the war, which has so far cost more than 280 British lives, is "unwinnable", with just 19 per cent taking the opposite view.

More than half (53 per cent) say they "don't really understand why Britain is still in Afghanistan", with 42 per cent disagreeing. A gap between the sexes emerged, with 60 per cent of women but 47 per cent of men saying they did not understand Britain's presence in Afghanistan. A sense that the issue has so far been avoided in the election campaign emerged, with 70 per cent saying they believed the main parties did not offer them "any real choice of policies" on Afghanistan.

This U.S. public, by contrast, is more supportive of the war, although lacks confidence in the administration waging it.

(AP Photo)