October 18, 2023
More adults view Afghanistan as an adversary than an ally, and two-thirds say the American war in Afghanistan was not worth fighting, according to a new Pearson Institute/AP-NORC Poll.
While 46% of adults believe the U.S. was successful in apprehending or eliminating those responsible for the 9/11 attacks during the war, less than a quarter say the U.S. was successful in its mission to develop a functioning government or improve opportunities for women in Afghanistan.
Regarding current foreign policy goals in Afghanistan, majorities say it is at least somewhat important to eliminate the threat of Islamic extremists taking shelter (77%) and advance the rights of women and girls (74%). Majorities of adults report hearing at least some news about recent events in Afghanistan such as the 2021 U.S. troop withdrawal (68%) and the Taliban restricting the rights of Afghan women (64%).
When it comes to the broader U.S. role in international affairs, there is no public consensus on the right approach as 24% say the U.S. should be more active, 42% say its current role is about right, and 33% say it should be less active. Those who say the U.S. should take a more active role in solving the world’s problems are more likely to rate U.S. foreign policy goals in Afghanistan as important.
Adults who view the war in Afghanistan as worthwhile are more likely to feel the U.S. successfully achieved key policy objectives during the war and to say foreign policy goals in Afghanistan are important.
The nationwide poll was conducted by the Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research from September 21 to 25, 2023, using AmeriSpeak®, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,191 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.8 percentage points.
Suggested Citation: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (October, 2023). “Many view the war in Afghanistan and its key goals as unsuccessful ” https://apnorc.org/projects/many-view-the-war-in-afghanistan-and-its-key-goals-as-unsuccessful/