Dina Smeltz and Emily Sullivan at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs:
The Taliban’s recent advances in Afghanistan, capturing six provincial capitals in less than a week, have highlighted the impact of the US military withdrawal there and have thrown the future of the country into question. While several outspoken critics have objected to President Biden’s decision to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan, the just-completed 2021 Chicago Council Survey, fielded July 7-26, shows that seven in ten Americans continue to back this decision.
When asked whether they support or oppose the decision to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, the 2021 Chicago Council Survey finds that 70 percent of Americans support it (29% oppose). This support spans partisan affiliations, though larger majorities of Democrats (77%) and Independents (73%) than Republicans (56%) agree.
Recent polling has also revealed new public skepticism about the origins of the war launched by President George W. Bush. Now a growing number of Democrats and independents have come to view the war itself, long seen as defensible in comparison with the conflict in Iraq, as a mistake.
“That’s a big reason why I would not expect this decision [to withdraw], even with the visuals of the Taliban taking over, to have a big effect on Biden’s approval rating,” said Frank Newport, a senior pollster at Gallup.