More than 70 per cent Americans want US troops to stay until Afghan allies evacuated

The viewpoint was held by majority of both parties’ members

Helen Elfer
Monday 30 August 2021 15:27
White House says President to decide troop withdrawal deadline, not Taliban

Americans are overwhelmingly in support of keeping US troops in Afghanistan until all those who aided the United States over the past two decades have been evacuated, according to a new poll.

The poll, conducted by ABC/Ipsos showed that 71 per cent of Americans think US troops should remain until all Afghan allies have been evacuated from Afghanistan, and 84 per cent say they should stay until all Americans have been evacuated.

Notably, the support for keeping the troops in place came from both sides of the aisle, marking a departure from the usual partisan divides in public opinion on hot button issues in the States.

As many as 87 per cent of Republicans and 86 per cent of Democrats held the view that the troops should remain until all Americans are out of Afghanistan, while 77 per cent of Republicans and 72 per cent of Democrats said they should stay until Afghan allies are out too.

President Joe Biden has consistently said that all U.S. troops must be out of the country by August 31st, despite the fact that the evacuation will not be complete by that date – a stance the majority of Americans disagree with.

ABC/Ipsos’ research took place after last Thursday’s bombings at Kabul airport, that left 13 US service members and at least 170 Afghans dead, with hundreds more injured.

After the attack, which was claimed by Islamic State-affiliate ISIS-K, Mr Biden said the danger is why he’s “been so determined to limit the duration” of the US military presence on the ground there.

In an address earlier that week Mr Biden said: “The sooner we can finish the better. Each day of operations brings added risk to our troops,” adding: “Every day we’re on the ground, is another day we know that ISIS-K is seeking to target the airport and attack both U.S. and allied forces and innocent civilians.”

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