Afghanistan: Expert says US are ‘sitting ducks’
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The Taliban has reclaimed power in Afghanistan after 20 years away, as troops withdraw their presence from the country. Former President George Bush led an invasion of the country in 2001 with hopes to root out al-Qaeda, which had carried out the 9/11 attacks that year. Donald Trump and his successor Joe Biden led the push to withdraw, but a survey has found people have primarily blamed Mr Biden over his predecessor.
US broadcasters CBS teamed up with YouGov pollsters to ask Americans who they believe carries the burden of the Taliban’s takeover.
They asked more than 2,000 US adults earlier this month whether they blamed the Afghan government, its army, or Presidents Biden and Trump.
The poll, which YouGov conducted between August 18 and 20, found Mr Biden shouldered the most individual blame.
Results showed 36 percent of Americans believed “a lot” of the blame fell at his feet.
More than 20 percent of Americans said he must take “some” of the blame for the takeover.
By comparison, roughly 38 percent of people thought he had “not much” or “none” of the blame.
Mr Trump came behind him, despite having set off withdrawal mechanisms in an agreement with the Taliban in 2020.
A quarter of Americans believing he must take “a lot” of the blame for the Taliban’s gains.
Roughly the same number of people believe he had “some” responsibility.
But Americans didn’t blame Mr Trump and President Biden over every other participant in Afghanistan’s governing.
They have set their sights on the Afghan government and its military as primary reasons for the Taliban’s rapid advance.
Afghanistan’s president, Ashraf Ghani, fled Kabul as the insurgents advanced on the capital.
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Roughly 60 percent of respondents in the YouGov survey said the Afghan government had the most responsibility.
A further 30 percent state the US-backed government has to take “some” of the responsibility.
The Afghan army is the second most blameful of the four options, as Americans have saddled the force with 50 percent of the blame.
And more than a quarter of people have laid “some” of the blame at the army’s feet.
Those inside the Afghan military have directed their blame elsewhere, however.
Special force general Sami Sadat, writing in a column for the New York Times, blamed “politics and presidents.”
He added: “This was not an Afghan war only; it was an international war, with many militaries involved.
“It would have been impossible for one army alone, ours, to take up the job and fight. This was a military defeat, but it emanated from political failure.”
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