Nearly 70% of Americans disapprove of Biden's handling of Afghanistan exit: poll

Afghan people sit along the tarmac as they wait to leave the Kabul airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan's 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city's airport trying to flee the group's feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. |

Nearly 70% of likely American voters disapprove of how President Joe Biden is handling the situation in Afghanistan as the Taliban takes control of the country, according to a recently released poll.

The Trafalgar Group released a poll on Monday which found that 59.5% of respondents strongly disapproved of Biden’s handling of Afghanistan while 9.8% disapproved, for a combined 69.3% disapproval.

By contrast, 12.4% of respondents approved of Biden’s handling of Afghanistan, 10.7% strongly approve, and 7.5% responded that they have no opinion on the issue.

The poll was conducted Aug. 14-15 and had a sample of 1,084 “likely general election voters,” which had a reported margin of error of 2.98%.

Another finding of the poll was that Democrat respondents were also largely critical of Biden’s handling of Afghanistan, with 48.2% saying they either “strongly disapprove” or “disapprove,” while 39.8% saying they either “approve” or “strongly approve.”

Mark Meckler, president of conservative group Convention of States Action, which partnered with the Trafalgar Group to release the poll, said in a statement released Monday that the poll showed evidence that “the American people are not buying the lies on Afghanistan.”

“This is Saigon, and it’s far worse. Our nation has watched the same group of leaders in Washington, D.C., flounder and blunder on foreign policy, on COVID-19, on the border, and on the economy,” stated Meckler.

“After spending more than $1 trillion dollars and enduring wounded and dead soldiers, we are confronted with a basecamp for terror, a foreign policy nightmare, and are now less safe here at home. Time for new leadership.”

Over the past several years, the United States has been slowly reducing troop numbers in Afghanistan; although they had toppled the Taliban regime in 2001 for their connection to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Islamic extremist group maintained a longstanding insurgency.

In February 2020, at a speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland, then President Donald Trump announced an agreement with the Taliban and the Afghan government as a means of ending the war in Afghanistan.

“Today, the United States signed a deal with the Taliban, so that we can hopefully begin the immediate process of finally bringing our troops back home,” Trump told CPAC.

“I want to just thank our military because we’ve been really a police force there for the last long time. We’re not supposed to be a police force, we’re supposed to be fighting soldiers.”

Earlier this year, Biden announced that he planned to withdraw the last of the U.S. forces by the beginning of September, reportedly against the wishes of his military advisors.

Recently, with the American withdrawal largely complete, the Taliban went on the offensive, retaking large parts of Afghanistan, including the capital Kabul, with surprising speed.

The result has been a rushed evacuation of Western sympathizers and others from the country, which many have compared to when the U.S. hastily evacuated Saigon in 1975 at the close of the Vietnam War.

In response to the situation, Biden announced that 5,000 U.S. troops would be deployed to evacuate Americans. The Pentagon announced Sunday that an additional 1,000 troops would be deployed to provide security for evacuations after the U.S. State Department reported gunfire at the Kabul international airport and told Americans to "shelter in place."

Biden also ordered “our Armed Forces and our Intelligence Community to ensure that we will maintain the capability and the vigilance to address future terrorist threats from Afghanistan.”

“America went to Afghanistan 20 years ago to defeat the forces that attacked this country on September 11th. That mission resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden over a decade ago and the degradation of al Qaeda,” Biden said in a statement on Saturday.

“I was the fourth President to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan—two Republicans, two Democrats. I would not, and will not, pass this war onto a fifth.” 

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

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