Poll: Over 60% of Americans say Afghanistan war was not worth fighting
62% of Americans do not believe the war in Afghanistan was worth fighting, according to an AP-NORC poll conducted Aug. 12–16, as the Afghan government verged on collapse following the withdrawal of U.S. forces.
Why it matters: Biden has faced intense criticism over the scenes of chaos in Kabul, where a Taliban takeover has prompted a mass evacuation of Americans and Afghans who assisted the U.S. war effort.
- The U.S. spent 20 years and billions of dollars supporting the Afghan government and training its security forces.
- Yet the Afghan military ultimately melted away under pressure from the Taliban, which essentially retook the entirety of the country in 11 days.
The big picture: The poll, conducted Aug. 12–16, found that 47% of people approve of Biden's handling of foreign policy, only a slight change from a June AP-NORC poll that showed a rating of 50%. The new rating includes 76% of Democrats, 41% of independents, and 15% of Republicans.
- Amid fears of the resurgence of al-Qaeda now that the Taliban controls Afghanistan, 50% of Americans polled said they were concerned about extremist groups outside the U.S.
- Meanwhile, 65% of respondents said they were concerned about extremist groups based in the U.S.
- Like the war in Afghanistan, 63% of Americans do not believe the Iraq War was worth fighting.
The bottom line: Protecting the U.S. against outside terrorist threats was one of the original justifications for the invasion of Afghanistan.
Poll methodology: The nationwide poll was conducted Aug. 12–16. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cellphones were conducted with 1,729 adults. The margin of sampling error is ± 3.2 percentage points.