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Majority of both Democrats and Republicans in AP-NORC survey think the Afghanistan war was not worth fighting

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U.S. soldiers board helicopter in Afghanistan in 2008 (John Moore/Getty Images)

A majority of adults in a recent nationwide poll believe that the Afghanistan war was not worth fighting, according to an AP-NORC survey carried out Aug. 12-16.

While 62% thought the Afghanistan war was not worth fighting, only 35% felt that it was worth fighting. And the figures were similar with respect to the Iraq war (2003-2011), with 63% indicating that it was not worth fighting and 34% indicating that it was worth it.

The sentiment spanned the political spectrum as well, as majorities of both Democrats and Republicans did not think that either war was worthwhile.

Regarding Afghanistan, 57% of Republicans thought the war was not worth fighting compared to 67% of Democrats who felt that way. And 42% of Republicans believed it was worth fighting, while 29% of Democrats felt that way.

Regarding the war in Iraq, 53% of Republicans thought it was not worth fighting, while 70% of Democrats held that view. And 45% of Republicans indicated it was worth fighting, compared to 27% of Democrats who expressed that same opinion.

In the Iraq war, a United States–led coalition overthrew the authoritarian government of Saddam Hussein. U.S. troops were withdrawn in 2011.

"The nationwide poll was conducted August 12-16, 2021 using the AmeriSpeak® Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,729 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.2 percentage points," according to apnorc.org.

President Joe Biden and his administration have recently come under heavy criticism for bungling the effort to pull U.S. forces out of Afghanistan. The Taliban seized power on Sunday and captured the capital of Kabul and the U.S. is now scrambling to evacuate American citizens and others.

"It's appalling that Joe Biden would even dare to mention World Humanitarian Day in the midst of the humanitarian crisis that he created in Afghanistan," Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) tweeted on Thursday. "This President & his administration exist in an alternate universe untethered to reality."

A statement from President Biden regarding World Humanitarian Day reads in part: "On this World Humanitarian Day, we pay tribute to the humanitarian workers and everyone on the ground – from all walks of life and nationalities – advocating for and delivering life-saving aid to the most vulnerable every day. We also reaffirm our commitment to put human rights at the center of our foreign policy – not through endless military deployments, but with our diplomacy, our economic tools, supporting aid workers and organizations, and rallying the world to join us."

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