A recent survey conducted by the Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research indicates that a significant majority of American adults view Afghanistan as an adversary rather than an ally of the United States. Furthermore, two-thirds of respondents believe that the nearly two-decade-long Afghan war, which concluded with a tumultuous U.S. troop withdrawal in August 2021 and the subsequent return of the Taliban to power, was not worth fighting.
The poll, conducted nationwide, reflects sentiments two years after the chaotic events in Afghanistan and the U.S. invasion, originally launched to punish the Taliban for harboring leaders of al-Qaida responsible for the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Survey participants expressed skepticism regarding the successful achievement of key U.S. objectives in Afghanistan. While 46% believed the war effectively captured or killed those responsible for the 9/11 attacks, only 16% thought that the U.S. had succeeded in establishing a functioning Afghan government. Additionally, a mere 22% of respondents believed that the U.S. had successfully improved opportunities for women in Afghanistan.
Sheila Kohanteb, Forum Executive Director at The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflict, noted, "The findings show that few think the U.S. succeeded during the war in improving opportunities for Afghan women, but most still view advancing the rights of Afghan women as an important foreign policy goal." Kohanteb emphasized that the public believes the U.S. should strive to improve the situation for Afghan women, even though many remain aware of the challenges and restrictions faced by women in Afghanistan.