How has the US exit from Afghanistan affected Biden’s presidency?
Biden's approval rating drops sharply as shocking images of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan flood the social media and televisions in the US.
“The buck stops with me,” stated President Joe Biden over his decisions to withdrawal all remaining US troops from Afghanistan.
In his speech from the East Room of the White House on Monday 16 August, the President told the world that while he is “deeply saddened by the facts we now face,” he has no regrets. However, the public seems to disagree with Biden’s approach as various polling agencies report that his approval rating has dropped below fifty percent for the first time in his presidency.
Additionally, The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research conducted a poll that found that two-thirds of respondents did not believe the war in Afghanistan was worth it, including a majority of Democrats and Republicans.
"The fallout of the Kabul crisis has Biden's approval rating dip below 50. Historically, presidents with a rating sub fifty confronted challenges to their agenda and (re)election:" Medley Global's Ben Emons, noting the correlation between yields & Biden's approval @Marcomadness2 pic.twitter.com/UQKxK6UZlZ— Lisa Abramowicz (@lisaabramowicz1) August 18, 2021
With the images of chaos from Kabul, it is hard to argue with them.
More details on the public's response to Biden’s role in the withdrawal in the coming weeks will become clearer.
Republicans try to skirt blame for the situation in Afghanistan.
How quickly can the politics around Afghanistan change? Here's a section on the RNC's website in June; click it now and you get a 404 error. (Rest of page was about Kosovo/Israel-Arab deals.) https://t.co/kDJo95QfiF pic.twitter.com/HkZok9mgJW— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) August 15, 2021
Republicans, however, have wasted no time in blasting the President over the Taliban’s quick rise to power. Reports have shown that the Republican National Committee has removed language applauding Trump’s move to withdraw from the country. The RNC has responded, saying the page was taken down for website maintenance, but many see this as a cover and attempt to shield their party from blame. Before the website had housed information touting how Presidnet Trump had reached a deal with the Taliban -- which Biden had followed through on -- was described as "the best path for the United States" to achieve peace in the country.
The Republicans will undoubtedly use the failures seen under Biden as ammunition in the 2022 and 2024 elections, but they are unlikely to be able to place all the blame at the hands of Democrats. After all, President Trump brought troop levels to the lowest point in the history of the war, and that President Bush was at the helm when the invasion began in 2001.
Additionally, while Republicans will try to stoak fear over the threat of Islamic extremism as a fundamentalist government is established in Afghanistan by the Taliban, the threat of far-right domestic terrorism looms large.
Yesterday, 19 August, a white man in a black pickup truck parked himself outside of the Library of Congress, claiming to be in possession of a bomb. Although his motives remain to be confirmed, the terrorist was an ardent Trump supporter. The situation prompted evacuations from federal buildings as well as residential homes in the area surrounding the Capitol. Other questions asked of respondents found that many in the country are more worried about a domestic terror attack than one sponsored by a foreign group like al-Qaeda.
The Taliban of Today
After Taliban fighters took Kabul in a matter of hours this weekend, a spokesman said the group is working to establish a new government based on Islamic principles and Shari'a law. The organization's leaders, able to exploit the power vacuum created by the US withdrawal, have said that they are not the same organization seen in the 1990s and early 2000s.
To not sour relations with the international community before their new government takes power, the Taliban has agreed to allow the safe passage of US citizens and Afghans looking to leave the country to the airport for evacuation.
In a press conference the group hosted on Tuesday, they said that women and girls would be allowed to play an active role in Afghan society, including attending school and work.
However, many experts believe only time will tell and would rather wait to see if the new government's actions live up to these promises.
If able to make good on these commitments, a more preposterous future could be seen in the country, which has been used as a play toy and weapon of foreign powers and warlords for the better part of fifty years.
Currently, the country's economy will not be able to sustain the needs of its people. Adding more pressure is that many governments and international organizations have ended or paused their humanitarian support to Afghanistan.
How will the rise of the Taliban impact President Biden’s approval
Should the Taliban move to create a moderate government that respects human rights and does not harbor terrorist organizations, there is a chance the United States would be willing to work with them. This interest in the country is partially economic, as Afghanistan is an untapped goldmine, literally.
Some estimates have shown that the country sits upon nearly a trillion dollars worth of minerals and other resources. However, the focus should not be on the profits to be made in a country that has suffered greatly over the last twenty years.
I want to extend a special message to the people of Afghanistan during this trying time:— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) August 20, 2021
The @UN is with you and committed to staying and delivering, helping to advance peace, opportunity and human rights for all.
International organizations are urging countries to continue to support the Afghan people by providing humanitarian assistance or helping them relocate without issue.
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