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Iraq War Seen as 'Failure' by 53 Percent of Americans, Gallup Says

5 years ago
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A small majority of Americans believe the Iraq war, now in its eighth year, will be judged a failure in the light of history, rather than a success.

The new Gallup poll shows a wide partisan divide on the public's view of Iraq, but the overall findings vary little from previous surveys. The telephone sampling of 1,013 adults was taken between Aug. 5 and Aug. 8, before the last U.S. combat brigades rolled out of Iraq on Wednesday. About 50,000 American troops are staying on to provide logistical support to the Iraqis in the on-going struggle with insurgents.

While 53 percent say the war will be seen as a failure (compared to 42 percent who see it as a success), most Americans think Iraq is much better off, or at least somewhat better off today than it was before the U.S.-led invasion topped the dictator, Saddam Hussein. Sixty-four percent say things are better in Iraq, even with an unstable government and continued terrorist attacks.
U.S. combat brigades roll out of Iraq
The war, launched in 2003 by President George W. Bush, is viewed as a "mistake" by 78 percent of the Democrats surveyed, while 67 percent of the Republicans questioned say the invasion wasn't the wrong move. Similarly, on the history question, 70 percent of the Democrats say it will go down as a failure, while 60 percent of Republicans think the war will be judged successful.

Regardless of party affiliation, a significant majority thinks Iraqi security forces will not be up to the task of holding back insurgent attacks. Even so, a smaller majority believes the U.S. withdrawal should remain on track for a near-complete pull out by the end of next year, regardless of events in Iraq.

More than 4,400 Americans have lost their lives in since the war commenced in March 2003.

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The Sunni and Shia have been fighting for 1200 years and they will not stop now. The only one who is helped by us getting in this war is Iran. Iran and Iraq were enemies and fought each other. Now with a Shiate majority in Iraq they will join to form a regional super power.

August 22 2010 at 3:11 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply

it was a lost cause before it even started

August 22 2010 at 1:33 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply


August 22 2010 at 12:57 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply

Vietnam was the 20th century failure. Iraq is the 21st century failure. The draw down of troops to a peace keeping/non combat role is the intelligent thing to do.

August 22 2010 at 12:36 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tom's comment


August 22 2010 at 12:59 PM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply

The Iraq was a horrible mistake. Under Saddam, the country was fairly stable, and had a secular government. Now, the religious squabbling will go on forever, it seems. In the long run, I think Iraq is going to look just like Iran - a nominally secular government dominated by the mullahs. The people of Iraq have exchanged a secular dictator for dictatorship by religious fanatics.

August 22 2010 at 12:04 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

So 53% of Americans see the Iraq war as a failure. How would they rather have seen it? Would they have preferred a WWII type ending where Al Qaeda terrorists handed over their weapons in an official ceremony? They must have forgotten that we went to Iraq on lie. Our political scene has no equal anywhere on the face of the earth.

August 22 2010 at 11:35 AM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply
dc walker

Saddam wanted to control ALL the oil fields. First he went to war with Iran and killed hundreds of thousands, when they kept him at bay he went after Kuwait and Saudi Arabia's oil fields first with scuds then with 700 tanks killing hundreds. While in Kuwait he stole most of the $40 billion in war materials we sold them. Saddam was dangerous. His control of the fields would have controlled the oil prices, would have been in control of those countries that depended on that oil. He had to go. As for the WMDs listen to General Sada instead of John Kerry.

August 22 2010 at 11:34 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dc walker's comment

I think many Americans forget how bad Saddam and Iraq really were. It was more than their quest for oil and regional dominance. Remember how corrupt the UN's oil for food program was? Instead of food for Iraqi civilians, it fed hundreds of millions of dollars to Saddam, his sadistic sons, their military, and yes, their temporarily dormant WMD programs. The war was expensive, but don't forget how expensive it would have been to continue to try to "contain" Saddam and his sons. Containment would have been an unsuccessful strategy long term, anyway. Saddam brought the war on himself.

August 22 2010 at 11:48 AM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply

One has to understand the reasoning - whether right or wrong - and to allow the military to proceed with its action without the interferrence of government dead-heads. Iraq should have been won in the first 3 years....not eight years later. This is the same as viet Nam - a police action with no definite direction or completion. Iraq could have been taken in the first year - however, those in charge knew nothing of the complex military action requirements. They only wanted Saddam out....a big mistake, because most of the world knew he was a blow hard...and by doing what what done only opened the door for Iran to expedite its programs after Iraq failed to infiltrate Iran.

August 22 2010 at 11:08 AM Report abuse +13 rate up rate down Reply

a retired veteran i am. serve during the nam era. got spit by my fellow citizens while on home leave because i was a soldier boy in those days. well nam did no teach us anything and the same goes for iraq some fifty years later. business will go as usual here and around the world. only veterans like myself ask themselves why was that all about and was it necessary. thank you.

August 22 2010 at 11:04 AM Report abuse +18 rate up rate down Reply

the us can not-should not go to aid and defense of every nation seen as having an unjust society and practices. change of hearts and minds is a work to be done by the residents within the unjust society. and too many are afraid to work/boycott for their own liberation.foreign aid in guns and $ has been a bust for way too many years.that aid is often misused and stolen by the receivers of it.happy that saddam is off the stage and irag is now a republic-if they can keep it .i hope for long term sucess there.

August 22 2010 at 11:00 AM Report abuse +12 rate up rate down Reply

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