Most Americans view Iraq War as mistake on eve of anniversary
WASHINGTON-- Most Americans view the Iraq War as a "mistake" on the eve of the 10th Anniversary of U.S. invasion of the Mideast country, according to poll results released on Monday.
According to a Gallup poll, 53 percent of Americans believe their country "made a mistake sending troops to fight in Iraq," while 42 percent say it was not a mistake.
On the other hand, a slim majority of Americans, about 51 percent, say the war in Afghanistan was not a mistake, while 44 percent believe sending troops to Afghanistan was a mistake.
Unlike the Iraq War, which ended in 2011, the Afghanistan War is an ongoing engagement, with a scheduled drawdown date of 2014.
Americans initially supported the war, with substantial majorities in 2003 saying the U.S. decision to get involved in Iraq was not a mistake. However, attitudes changed quickly, and by the summer of 2004, a majority of Americans called the war a mistake.
Opinions fluctuated thereafter but, with only one exception since August 2005, a majority has said the war was a mistake each time Gallup has asked the question.
Gallup contends that the national fatigue of wars has led some political commentators to warn of a new "American isolationism," which limits or curtails future military action.
While recent polling data cannot confirm this, it is clear that Americans are not of one mind in believing that past military conflicts were the right course of action and may be more cautious about supporting future actions.
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War. On March 20, 2003, U.S. and its allied forces began the invasion of Iraq, and toppled then Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. U.S. forces withdrew from the country in 2011. (Xinhua)