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Afghanistan war unpopular amid chaotic pullout: AP-NORC poll

A significant majority of Americans doubt that the war in Afghanistan was worthwhile, even as the United States is more divided over President Joe Biden's handling of foreign policy and national security, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

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Afghanistan war unpopular amid chaotic pullout: AP-NORC poll

The poll found that roughly two-thirds of respondents said they didn't believe America's longest war was worthwhile. The poll shows that 47% of Americans approve of Biden’s international affairs management, and 52% approve of Biden’s national security policy.

The poll was conducted Aug. 12-16 as the two-decade war in Afghanistan ended with the Taliban returning to power and capturing the capital of Kabul. Biden has faced bipartisan condemnation in Washington for sparking a humanitarian crisis by being ill-prepared for the speed of the Taliban's advance.

The president has stood by his decision to exit the country, insisting that he will not allow the war to continue indefinitely and betting that Americans agree with him.

Mark Sohl is one of those who does. The 62-year old Democrat from Topeka in Kansas said that it was not worth losing more American lives to fix a mess.

Sohl said, "After twenty years, you get to let loose."

Some others felt more disturbed after seeing the grim scenes in Afghanistan, even though they supported the war. One image that will endure is the one in which Afghans held onto U.S. military aircrafts as they tried to flee their country.

Sebastian Garcia, a Biden voter, said that he doesn't believe they should have been there. He was 23 years old and from Lubbock in Texas. Garcia said that he had three relatives who served in Afghanistan. "But now that they're leaving, i do believe we should probably stay after seeing, I guess, the trouble we have caused."

A majority of respondents also believe that the Iraq War, which coincided with Afghanistan's invasion, was a mistake. The Republicans are more likely than Democrats that they believe the wars in both of these countries were worthwhile. About 4 out 10 Republicans believe this, while 3 out 10 Democrats do.

Deborah Fulkerson, Pueblo, Colorado believes that it would be prudent for the U.S. not to leave Afghanistan.

The 62-year old, who is more conservative on social issues than her husband, said that she feels like having a presence there makes things safer and more neutral.

Fulkerson admitted that she doesn't follow Afghanistan as closely, but said she was more concerned about local news and gas prices.

She said, "I am a Christian, and I know where my future lies. And all of this stuff is happening that I don't have any control over, except through prayer. I just can't keep up with it all." "I would be negative every day."

Half of Americans are very or very concerned about threats to the U.S. from extremist groups based in other countries. Another third are moderately worried. Only 1 in 10 Americans say they aren't concerned.

Almost 20 years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks that prompted the Afghanistan war, Americans are more likely to perceive major national security threats as internal.

About two-thirds of Americans are very or very concerned about extremist groups operating in the United States. About 25% are slightly concerned and 1 in 10 aren't.

Republicans and Democrats view the threat from extremist groups based in the U.S. the same way: About half of all party lines are very or extremely concerned. However, Democrats are more likely to be concerned than Republicans about extremist groups based outside the U.S. 75% to 57%.

Biden has focused his policy agenda mainly on domestic issues, such as rebuilding the U.S. economic after the coronavirus epidemic. This seems to resonate with some Americans, who view Afghanistan as a distant conflict but see the rising costs of food and housing as inevitable.

Michael Lee Bettger (47) said that he voted in Donald Trump but was impressed by the economic performance under Biden, and that this is his priority. Bettger lives in Austin Arkansas and has never been so busy with industrial maintenance.

Bettger stated, "Jobs just overflow." "There isn't enough of me to go around."

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