The perception that the administration was shifting the goalposts further dented public confidence, said Richard Fontaine, CEO of the Center for a New American Security and an adviser to the late Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain.
“They said things like, ‘We’re going to end this responsibly. We’re going to have an enduring commitment to Afghanistan. It’s not like the Taliban are just going to walk in and take Kabul one weekend,’” Fontaine said of the Biden administration. “And next thing you know, you’ve got something that looks like the fall of Saigon on your TV screen.”
Fontaine said the chasm between what the public expected to happen and the outcome shook people’s faith.
“I don’t think it was a surprise that people who watched the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan had their confidence shaken in the American ability to get things done,” he added, calling the unfolding events “searing and traumatic.”
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