One 12 months after the US army left Afghanistan, a have a look at public opinion


A US Air Pressure airplane takes off from Kabul Worldwide Airport on August 30, 2021, the day the US completes the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. (Aamir Qureshi/AFP by way of Getty Photos)

In August 2021, america withdrew its final troops from Afghanistan, ending its army presence after practically 20 years. The Taliban gained management of the nation on account of the US exit from Afghanistan and created a refugee disaster as many Afghans fled. It additionally raised fears that terrorists might use Afghanistan as a protected haven, as was the case with al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was traced to the nation’s capital Kabul late final month. Was killed in a US drone strike.

A 12 months after the US army’s exit from Afghanistan, this is a have a look at how folks in america and different international locations have considered the troop withdrawal and its aftermath, in addition to their broader view of the warfare. All findings are based mostly on beforehand revealed Pew Analysis Middle surveys.

This evaluation by the Pew Analysis Middle examines People’ views on the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and its aftermath. That is based mostly on the latest surveys carried out by the Centre. Hyperlinks to those surveys, together with data on subject dates, pattern sizes, and different methodological particulars, can be found within the textual content.

On the time of the army evacuation, 54% of People mentioned the choice to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan was the proper one, In keeping with a survey carried out in August 2021. Almost four-in-ten People (42%) mentioned the choice was fallacious. There was a pointy partisan division on the topic. Whereas 70% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents mentioned the choice to withdraw troops was the proper resolution, practically half of Republican and GOP leanings (34%) shared the view. As a substitute a majority of Republicans (64%) mentioned the choice was fallacious.

A bar chart shows the public supports the withdrawal of Afghan forces but gives Biden low marks for his handling of the situation

In the identical survey, 69% of American adults mentioned that america has failed to attain its targets, principally in Afghanistan. Almost 1 / 4 (27%) mentioned the US was profitable. There was a partisan settlement on this query: about seven-ten of the 2 sides mentioned that the US had principally failed to attain its targets.

The People had doubts concerning the warfare in Afghanistan even earlier than the withdrawal of American troops. In a spring 2019 survey, 59% of American adults mentioned that the warfare in Afghanistan was not price combating, given the associated fee versus profit for america, whereas 36% mentioned it was. The stability of opinion amongst US army veterans was virtually the identical.

Throughout and after the troop withdrawal, giant numbers of People expressed unfavourable views of the Biden administration’s dealing with of the state of affairs in Afghanistan. In each August and September 2021, round seven-in-ten or extra mentioned the administration had carried out solely truthful or poorly to cope with the state of affairs there, with practically four-in-ten or extra saying it did poorly Is. In each surveys, fewer People mentioned the administration did a superb or good job. For instance, within the September survey, solely 24% mentioned so.

A bar chart shows most Democrats say the Biden administration has done the only fair or poor job of dealing with Afghanistan

A big majority of Republicans (82%) mentioned in September 2021 that the administration had carried out a poor job of dealing with the state of affairs in Afghanistan. Conservative Republicans have been 21 share factors extra more likely to say this than liberal and liberal Republicans (89% versus 68%).

One in 5 Democrats additionally mentioned the Biden administration had carried out a poor job of dealing with the state of affairs in Afghanistan. Almost twice as many individuals mentioned the administration did solely a good job (38%) or glorious or good work (40%).

Veterans and non-veterans have been additionally divided on this query. Whereas equal shares of veterans (76%) and non-veterans (74%) mentioned in September 2021 that the Biden administration had carried out the one truthful or poor job of coping with the state of affairs in Afghanistan, veterans mentioned greater than non-veterans. Administration dealt with it poorly (60% vs 47%). Solely 1 / 4 or much less of any group mentioned the administration did a superb or good job, with only a few giving it a superb ranking (4% veterans and 5% non-veterans). As is the case with most people, the views of veterans on these points are deeply divided alongside get together traces.

Final September, a majority of People (56%) mentioned they have been in favor of accepting hundreds of Afghan refugees into the US, In keeping with the identical survey, which was carried out after the US evacuated hundreds of Afghans from the nation. Almost four-in-ten (42%) opposed the transfer.

A bar chart shows liberal Democrats in favor of accepting refugees from Afghanistan

These views have been deeply divided by partisanship. On the time, 63% of Republicans have been both strongly (29%) or considerably (34%) against the US accepting hundreds of refugees from Afghanistan into the nation. A couple of third (35%) mentioned they have been in favor of accepting these refugees.

In distinction, three-quarters of Democrats have been in favor of accepting refugees, together with a 3rd who strongly supported it. Liberal Democrats (87%) have been extra more likely to assist it than conservative and average Democrats (66%). Almost half of average Democrats (49%) mentioned they strongly assist accepting refugees from Afghanistan.

Regardless of majority assist for accepting refugees, People have been divided as as to whether the federal government was conducting satisfactory safety checks for these arriving within the US from Afghanistan. Almost four-in-ten People (43%) mentioned they have been very or considerably assured that the federal government was conducting satisfactory safety checks, whereas 55% weren’t very satisfied or in no way. Democrats have been extra seemingly than Republicans to precise confidence within the authorities’s safety checks.

In a spring 2022 survey of 18 international locations, folks thought of the US resolution to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan to be right, however many mentioned the withdrawal was not dealt with nicely. A median of 52% of the international locations surveyed mentioned troop was the proper selection, in comparison with a median of 39% who mentioned it was the fallacious selection.

Public opinion in these international locations was extra unfavourable when it got here to how the US exit from Afghanistan was dealt with. A median of 56% mentioned it was not dealt with nicely, whereas a median of 33% mentioned it was. In solely two surveyed international locations, Poland and Malaysia, half or extra adults acknowledged the way in which Afghanistan was dealing with the state of affairs.

Most People mentioned in August 2021 that the Taliban’s management of Afghanistan was a risk to the safety of america. Almost half (46%) mentioned Taliban management represented a serious risk to the US, and one other 44% noticed it as a minor risk. Republicans (61%) have been extra more likely to view Taliban-controlled Afghanistan as a serious safety risk than Democrats (33%).

A bar chart shows that strengthening the economy is the top concern of the public, followed by health cost-cutting and COVID-19

In a January 2022 survey, 55% of People mentioned they need to defend towards terrorism. Addressing this 12 months is a prime precedence for the president and Congress. Of the 18 points requested, counter-terrorism was one of many recognized prime priorities. The survey was carried out forward of a US army drone strike on al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul in July.

People prioritize the difficulty of terrorism in a different way based mostly on components together with age and bias. Almost three-quarters of adults 65 and older (76%) mentioned protection towards terrorism must be a prime precedence for the president and Congress, in contrast with 32% underneath the age of 30 and practically two-thirds of Republicans (65%). ) mentioned it must be a prime precedence in comparison with 48% of Democrats.



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