The British public is split on whether withdrawing troops from Afghanistan was the right thing to do, a survey suggests.
The polling comes as the prime minister, Boris Johnson, faced fierce criticism from senior members of this own party and defended the final pull-out of British troops, saying it was an “illusion” to think the international military mission could have continued without US forces.
A survey of 1,970 British adults by Ipsos MORI found:
• 39% said it was the right decision to completely withdraw British troops from Afghanistan this year, while 40% said it was the wrong decision.
• 31% said it was the right decision for US troops to withdraw, while 47% said it was the wrong decision.
• 19% said Britain should not intervene at all over the next few months if the Taliban regime commits widespread human rights abuses or allows extremist groups to operate.
• 34% said Britain should step in with diplomatic and economic interventions against the regime, while 32% said Britain should step in with humanitarian interventions such as increasing support for Afghan refugees.
• 22% of those polled said they would support military interventions such as targeted air strikes.