Veterans of the Afghanistan War shared a lot of complex feelings about the two-decade conflict in a new poll, but they gave former President Donald Trump a higher approval rating than any of his predecessors.
Morning Consult polled veterans during President Joe Biden’s disgraceful exit from Afghanistan last month. Our troops were asked which president they felt had the best foreign policy in the country.
Biden, who oversaw the conflict for eight months, was given the lowest marks. Trump, who presided over four years of the war, was graded highest.
Sixty-three percent of veterans said they approved of Trump’s handling of Afghanistan. Thirty-one percent said they disapproved.
Trump was, of course, on the verge of offering troops a dignified and secure withdrawal.
Under his leadership, the U.S. went a full calendar year without losing a single soldier in combat, according to The Hill.
Former President George W. Bush, who was in command during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, had the support of 54 percent of vets. Thirty-six percent disapproved of his handling of the war.
Former President Barack Obama was given nearly identical marks, coming in tied for second with a 54 percent approval rating. Thirty-seven percent said they disapproved of Obama’s performance.
Biden, who got 13 U.S. service members killed last month after botching the withdrawal, had the support of 49 percent of vets. Forty-seven percent disapproved of how he handled the conflict, including thirty-six percent who said they strongly disapproved.
Veterans of the war are more likely than the average voter to support Biden’s decision to pull out of Afghanistan.
“Nearly 3 in 5 veterans of the war in Afghanistan (58 percent) said they support Biden’s move to withdraw all troops before the 20th anniversary of the 2001 attacks on Saturday, including 42 percent who do so strongly,” Morning Consult noted.
“The latter figure is 15 percentage points higher than the share of all voters who said the same.”
Veterans were also asked how they felt about the overall mission in Afghanistan.
Forty-eight percent said they viewed the war as “successful.” Sixty-seven percent said it was “necessary.”
Sadly, many also signaled that they viewed the war as having been essentially for nothing.
Forty-nine percent called the war “shameful,” while 61 percent classified it as “wasteful.” Fifty-one percent said the conflict was “embarrassing.”
The poll was conducted from Aug. 17 to Sept. 2 among 243 Afghanistan War veterans with a margin of error of +/- 6 percentage points.