- Record-high 83% of Afghans disapproved of U.S. leadership in 2021
- Afghans in 2021 had never disapproved of any world power more than the U.S.
- Few approve of leadership of U.S., Germany, China and Russia
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In the 13-year history of Gallup's surveys in Afghanistan, Afghans have never disapproved of any world power more than they disapproved of the leadership of the U.S. during the country's withdrawal from Afghanistan last year.
Gallup's surveys show Afghans had grown disillusioned with U.S. leadership long before the U.S. military pulled out in August, but Afghans' disapproval reached a record-high 83% in August and September 2021.
Trend line showing approval and disapproval ratings of Afghans' ratings of U.S. leadership between 2008 and 2021.
Twenty years after its invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, the U.S. exited the country in 2021 with a 14% leadership approval rating, which is similar to the 17% approval rating it earned from Afghans in 2019. At the time, Afghans viewed the U.S. in the same light that they did former occupier Russia (13% approve), but they were less likely to disapprove of Russia's leadership (76%).
Trend line showing approval and disapproval ratings of Afghans' ratings of Russia's leadership between 2008 and 2021.
Afghans' ratings of other world powers weren't much better, but Afghans were relatively more positive about the leadership of Germany and China: 25% approved of Germany's leadership and 21% approved of China's leadership. Still, majorities of Afghans trust neither: 62% disapproved of Germany's leadership, and 66% disapproved of China's leadership.
Trend line showing approval and disapproval ratings of Afghans' ratings of Germany's leadership between 2008 and 2021.
Trend line showing approval and disapproval ratings of Afghans' ratings of China's leadership between 2008 and 2021.
Afghans were not always this disillusioned about U.S. leadership -- or the leadership of Germany, China and even Russia, for that matter. At a few points, as many as half of Afghans approved of the leadership of the U.S. But after 20 years of war, and with the Taliban in control again, they've lost faith in the leadership of all four countries.
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