American support for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has dropped sharply after the Taliban’s stunning return to power, according to an opinion poll out on Tuesday.
A Politico-Morning Consult survey of nearly 2,000 US voters showed that only 49 percent approve of the pullout, compared to 69 percent in April, when President Joe Biden announced that all US troops must be out of Afghanistan by September 11, though he later moved that date up to August 21.
Among Democrats, support dropped from 84 to 69 percent, among Republicans it fell from 52 to 31 percent.
The survey, conducted August 13-16, came as the Taliban captured Kabul and most other main Afghan cities with little resistance, while the US-backed government fled the country.
Biden dispatched 6,000 US troops to evacuate some 30,000 Americans and Afghan civilians who fear for their lives under the new regime, amid scenes of chaos and mayhem at the Kabul airport.
Biden had been counting on public support for his decision to end America’s longest war launched after the September 11, 2001, attacks.
But 51 percent of the survey’s respondents said they disapproved of the way the pullout was handled. And 45 percent believe that the US should not have left Afghanistan if that meant ceding power to the Taliban.
The survey was conducted among a sample of 1,999 registered American voters and had a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
Biden defended his decision to withdraw US troops on Monday, though he admitted that the Taliban advance unfolded more quickly than anticipated.
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