Most Americans say U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan failed to achieve their goals


The most interesting thing about THIS POLL is that there is little difference between Democrats and Republicans on whether the U.S. has achieved its goals in Iraq and Afghanistan:

After more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the public does not think the United States has achieved its goals in either country. About half of Americans (52%) say the U.S. has mostly failed to achieve its goals in Afghanistan while 38% say it has mostly succeeded. Opinions about the U.S. war in Iraq are virtually the same: 52% say the United States has mostly failed in reaching its goals there, while 37% say it has mostly succeeded.

In both cases, evaluations of the wars have turned more negative in recent years. In November 2011, as the U.S. was completing its military withdrawal from Iraq, a majority (56%) thought the U.S. had achieved its goals there.

Similarly, the public’s critical assessment of U.S. achievements in Afghanistan stands in contrast to opinion in June 2011, shortly after Osama bin Laden was killed in neighboring Pakistan. At that time, 58% answered a forward-looking question by saying they thought the U.S. would achieve its goals in that country; the question in the current survey asks whether the U.S. has achieved its goals.


The decisions to use military force in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to draw majority support among Republicans. By contrast, Democrats are divided about evenly over whether it was right or wrong for the U.S. to use force in Afghanistan, and Democrats continue to overwhelmingly oppose the decision to use force in Iraq.

However, there are no significant partisan differences in opinions about whether the U.S. has achieved its goals in Iraq and Afghanistan. Fewer than half of Republicans, Democrats and independents say the U.S. has mostly succeeded in achieving its goals in either country.



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