Sixty-eight percent of Americans and 55 percent of Democrats believe that the Biden administration’s evacuation of U.S. troops, civilians, and allies from Afghanistan has been handled “badly” according to a new YouGov poll.
Seventy-five percent of veterans, 76 percent of independents, and 84 percent of Republicans concur with the majority of Democrats and supermajority of Americans who disapprove of way the U.S. has withdrawn after nearly 20 years of military involvement there. A mere 16 percent of Americans would go so far as to say that it has been executed “very or somewhat well.”
Of those who disapprove, 69 percent of Americans and 76 percent of independents say President Joe Biden bears responsibility for the chaos in Afghanistan. Despite the president’s efforts to pin blame for the confusion and escalating violence on the ground on the former Afghan government, only 37 percent of Americans have adopted this view.
The poll was conducted between August 21 and 24, prior to the attacks outside of Hamid Karzai International Airport on Thursday. Those bombings and the subsequent firefights claimed the lives of a number of Afghan civilians as well as at least four U.S. Marines — exact figures are still forthcoming — and reportedly have moved up the administration’s timeline for leaving. Canada has already announced that it will end its evacuation operation in the wake of the attacks.
Americans are also increasingly concerned about the longer term implications of the withdrawal. Fifty-three percent of Americans believe it to be “somewhat or very likely” that a terrorist attack is committed on U.S. soil in the next twelve months. That’s up from 49 percent the week prior.
White House chief of staff Ron Klain has compared the U.S. evacuation to the Berlin Airlift — which saw U.S. planes dropping supplies into the Soviet-controlled German capital — and Press Secretary Jen Psaki said she wouldn’t call it “anything but a success.”