When it comes to the opinion on the departure of NATO troops from Afghanistan, the Czechs are divided into two approximately same-sized camps. While 42 percent of them consider the withdrawal to be the wrong step, 40 percent are of the opposite opinion, the survey by the Median agency for Czech Radio determined.
In addition, 57 percent of people consider the acceptance of Afghan collaborators of Czech soldiers to be the right decision. On the contrary, 33 percent reject it and a tenth of respondents did not have an opinion on the matter.
Allied troops withdrew from Afghanistan after 20 years at the end of August this year, with the Biden administration’s withdrawal widely seen as a disaster. The Taliban quickly seized power, leaving billions of dollars with of military equipment, including helicopters, armored vehicles, and hundreds of thousands of assaults rifles in the hand’s of the Islamic terrorist group.
Voters from the Greens and the Spolu coalition (Civic Democratic Party, Christian Democrats, and TOP09) are particularly critical of leaving Afghanistan, and 55 percent of entrepreneurs also opposed it. Contrarily, Communist Party voters and unemployed people evaluated the withdrawal positively to the greatest extent, Median agency found out.
Czechs fear terrorist attacks in Europe
The survey also shows that two-thirds of Czechs fear an increase in terrorist attacks in Europe in connection with current developments in Afghanistan. A quarter of people do not share such a concern.
Concerns about the rise of terrorism are expressed mainly by people over 60, unemployed, and Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) voters. By contrast, the least worried are people aged 18 to 29, entrepreneurs, and supporters of the Greens.
After the Afghan capital fell into the hands of the Islamist Taliban movement at the end of August, Czechia organized three flights, which transported almost 200 people to Prague. Local collaborators of Czech soldiers were among them. Czech troops have been operating in Afghanistan since 2002, and since then, 11,500 of soldiers have taken turns in the country, some of them repeatedly.
Citizens’ opinions were collected by the Median agency between Aug. 27 and Aug. 31, through a combination of telephone, personal and online inquiries, with 1,025 people participating.
Title image: Families evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan, walk through the terminal before boarding a bus after they arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport, in Chantilly, Va., on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)