NEW YORK - Many Americans are sceptical that the US can count on Afghanistan as a partner in the war or that the escalation would reduce the chances of a domestic terrorist attack, according to a latest poll. In The New York Times/CBS News poll, 51 per cent American expressed support for President Barack Obamas decision to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. But 55 per cent said Obama should not have set a date to begin exit. Obama said he would like to start bringing troops home in July 2011 but withdrawal would not begin before weighing conditions in Afghanistan. The poll also found many Americans said they were sceptical Afghanistan can be counted on as a partner in the fight. And six of 10 respondents said they did not want US troops to remain there for more than two years. Slightly less than half the respondents agreed Obamas strategy would prevent terrorists from using Afghanistan as a base of support, while only 39 per cent said an increased effort in Afghanistan would make the United States safer from a domestic terrorist attack. The approval ratings for the presidents handling of the Afghan war went up by 10 points from last month, to 48 per cent, following the announcement of his Afghan strategy earlier this month, the Times said. The poll, however, noted the support came largely from Republicans and independent voters favouring the troop escalation. The poll found Obamas overall approval rating as he nears the end of his first year in office stood at 50 per cent, the lowest yet from a peak of 68 per cent in April. The poll was conducted by telephone from Friday through Tuesday night, with 1,031 respondents, and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.