CNN Poll: Americans agree on bringing troops home from Iraq
December 21st, 2011
11:55 AM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans agree on bringing troops home from Iraq

(CNN) – Most Americans agree with the decision to end the war in Iraq, according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Wednesday. Almost eight in ten said they support removal of combat troops from that country by the end of this year.

And although 96% are proud of U.S. troops who served in Iraq, just one in three consider the war a victory and more than half call it a stalemate.

Full results

President Obama announced the full withdrawal of troops from Iraq by the year's end in October. Now, two-thirds say they oppose the war and more think the U.S. made a mistake sending troops to Iraq in the first place 53% to 46% over those who do not think it was a mistake.

Americans are similarly divided over whether they agree with then-Sen. Barack Obama's opinion that it was a "dumb" decision to send troops to Iraq in 2003 - 51% say it was dumb and 45% say it was smart.

More than half think the Bush administration deliberately misled the American public about whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, but about half say U.S. involvement in the war has had a positive effect on life in Iraq.

When it comes to the U.S., half the nation believes the Iraq war had a negative effect on life here and seven out of 10 say the money spent on the war is one reason for the economic problems facing the country today.

"After the Vietnam war, commentators noted a wariness among the U.S. public to support the use of military force, dubbing it the 'Vietnam syndrome,'" said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Roughly half the public believed that war was an outdated way of settling international conflicts even into the 1980s, but only 32% of Americans feel that way today, with 66% saying that war is sometimes necessary - a minority view after Vietnam. At the same time, seven in ten believe that U.S. military force should only be used as a last resort, and that may be the more lasting impact on public opinion of the war in Iraq."

Almost four in ten American say the U.S. only accomplished some of its goals in Iraq, but almost eight in ten say we could not achieve any more no matter how long troops remained in that country.

The CNN poll was conducted by telephone by ORC International from Dec. 16 to Dec. 18, among 1,015 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

- CNN Associate Producer Rebecca Stewart contributed to this report.


Filed under: CNN poll • Iraq • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Indy

    I wonder how it feels for the soldiers to come home and see that Republicans continue to work for 2% of the people, I doubt the soldiers went to risk their lives for 2% of the country, and to come home and see that while they were putting their lives on the line for ALL Americans, Republicans were busy ruining the economy and trying to kill off the Presidency by doing nothing for all Americans, and taking along the middle class people as collateral damage.

    December 21, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    Net results: GOP huge losers in this....good. Everyone with a brain knew invading was a farce and a distraction for Duh DUh Duh-bya to take revenge for Saddam's attempt at Daddy Bush

    December 21, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. Terry,Va

    Within a year, Iran will control Iraq. It will be split into 3 countries due to violence. Biden wanted 3 countries. Obummie wanted it to fail 3-4 years ago. Mission accomplished !!!!!!

    December 21, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. Woman In California

    I would be truly angry if I went out and fought a war (we should not have entered into in the first place) only to return and have people back home saying I should stay there. What a band of miserable draft dodgers these republicans are. Truly disgraceful if you ask me.

    December 21, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. WhereIsPalin

    "Most Americans agree with the decision to end the war in Iraq". But then again, most Americans agreed with the decision to "liberate" Iraq. It's funny what a little time and billions of dollars will do to opinions.

    December 21, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. v_mag

    Terry,Va

    "Within a year, Iran will control Iraq. It will be split into 3 countries due to violence. Biden wanted 3 countries. Obummie wanted it to fail 3-4 years ago. Mission accomplished !!!!!!"

    The minute we invaded Iraq, the outcome was set. If we stayed there for a hundred years, the outcome would not be significantly different. It was Bush's blunder and will always be Bush's blunder. You cannot get away with blaming the current President for salvaging what was left of the American reputation that Bush/Cheney left in shreds.

    December 21, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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