The Public’s Verdict on Iraq

New polls show that Americans strongly support the end of combat operations in Iraq and believe the war was an overwhelming failure, writes Ruy Teixeira.

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President Barack Obama delivered an address last Tuesday night on the end of combat operations in Iraq and the need to turn decisively toward solving pressing problems at home. The public approves very strongly of this approach; they endorse ending U.S. troops’ combat role by 68-27, according to a recent AP poll.

graph showing opinion about removing troops from Iraq

The verdict on the Iraq war, however, is overwhelmingly negative. The public said by a stunning 72-20 margin in a just-released CBS poll that the Iraq war was not “worth the loss of American lives and other costs.” Conservatives who are tempted to rewrite the history books on Iraq should keep this public verdict in mind. Any attempt to justify the catastrophic decision to invade Iraq will likely be met by a wall of public skepticism.

graph showing opinion of the Iraq war overall

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.

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Ruy Teixeira

Former Senior Fellow

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