WASHINGTON – Some 10 years since the United States invaded Iraq, and it appears the majority of Americans consider the war in which over 4,500 lost their lives and which cost close to one trillion dollars, a "mistake."
A Gallup poll published Monday revealed that 53% of Americans believe their country "made a mistake sending troops to fight in Iraq" while 42% say it was not a mistake.
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The results mark the first time Gallup has asked this question since the full withdrawal of American troops in December 2011.
Iraq invasion a mistake? (Photo: MCT)
Although majorities or near-majorities have viewed the conflict as a mistake continuously since August 2005, the current 53% is down from the high point of 63% in April 2008.
The US media has been focusing on the anniversary with stories about how the American public was deceived – made to believe that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.
The different attitudes expressed by democrats and republicans towards the Iraq war is easily discernible, not surprisingly given that the war was begun in the administration of a Republican, former President George W. Bush.
Some 66% of respondents in the Gallup poll who identify as or lean Republican say the US did not make a mistake in sending troops to fight in Iraq, while 30% express the contrary view. In contrast, 73% of Democratic leaners or identifiers see the military campaign as a mistake. Twenty-two percent in that group say it was not a mistake.
The generational divide is also a significant factor in the poll. Older Americans are more likely than younger ones to say the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam were a mistake.
Nearly six in 10 Americans aged 65 or older and 57% of those aged 50 to 64 say it was a mistake to send troops to Iraq, compared with 50% each of 18- to 29-year-olds and 30- to 49-year-olds.
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