New CSP/TIPP Poll: The Perils of Playing Politics With Afghanistan

New CSP/TIPP Poll: The Perils of Playing Politics With Afghanistan

Victoria Coates, a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy and a former deputy national-security adviser for Middle Eastern and North African Affairs in the Trump Administration, discusses the TIPP Poll findings on the topic of Afghanistan.

Victoria C G Coates

President Biden’s Sure Bet May Turn Out To Be Not So Sure After All

The driving force behind President Joe Biden’s determination to draw the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan down to zero has been driven by nakedly political considerations. More than a decade of polling clearly indicates that a majority of Americans wanted the war in Afghanistan to end, which only intensified after the elimination of Usama bin Laden in 2011—suggesting that “ending the endless war” would be a political sure bet for whichever president could pull it off.  President Biden routinely refers to this polling as justification for his precipitous drawdown and his default response to criticism of his Afghanistan policy is to say that he was doing what the American people demanded, regardless of how it was carried out.  But in the wake of the resulting chaotic and violent surrender of Afghanistan to the Taliban, a new CSP/TIPP survey indicates this may not be an accurate reading of what Americans wanted in Afghanistan.