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CBS NEWS POLL

For release: Thursday, August 26, 2010


6:30 pm (EDT)

LOOKING BACK ON COMBAT OPERATIONS IN IRAQ


August 20-24, 2010

• 57% of Americans think the war in Iraq is going well, and both the Bush and Obama
administrations share some of the credit. Most Americans do not think there will be an
increase in violence in Iraq as a result of the U.S. troop pull-out.

• Nevertheless, six in 10 Americans think the U.S. should have stayed out of Iraq in the
first place, and seven in 10 do not think the war was worth the loss of American life and
other costs of attacking Iraq.

• But there are doubts about both the objectives and impact of the war. 51% of Americans
do not think the U.S. accomplished its objectives in Iraq, and just 25% think the war with
Iraq made the U.S. safer from the threat of terrorism.

• On another war front, 52% of Americans do not think things are going well for the U.S. in
Afghanistan, and now more (48%) think the U.S. should not be involved there than think
it should (43%).

THE STATE OF IRAQ TODAY

As President Obama prepares to announce the end of major combat operations in Iraq and the
removal of all but about 50,000 troops from that country, Americans are generally positive about
how things are going for the U.S. there. 57% of Americans say things are going at least
somewhat well, while just 38% say things are going either somewhat or very badly. Majorities
of Democrats, Republicans, and independents all agree that things are going well in Iraq now.

In May 2003, after the initial invasion, 72% of Americans thought things were going well in Iraq.
That dropped below 50% at the start of 2004, and remained at or near that level for the duration
of the Bush presidency - dipping as low as 22% in the summer of 2007. Since October 2008
most Americans have been positive in their assessment of how things are going in Iraq.

How Are Things Going for the U.S. in Iraq?


Now 7/2010 10/2008 7/2007 4/2004 5/2003
Well 57% 55% 53% 22% 39% 72%
Badly 38 38 43 77 59 24

Among those who think things are going well, many think both the Bush and the Obama
administrations deserve credit. 33% think both administrations share the credit equally, while
26% think more credit should go to the Bush administration and 20% think more should go to
the Obama administration.

Who Should Get the Most Credit for How Things Are Going in Iraq?
(Among those who think things are going well in Iraq)
Both Bush and Obama Administrations 33%
Bush Administration 26
Obama Administration 20
Neither 19
Overall, 52% of Americans now approve of how President Obama is handling the situation in
Iraq.

Most Americans are not concerned that there will be an escalation of violence in Iraq now that
U.S. combat troops are being removed from the country. Almost half think that the level of
violence will remain the same, and another 12% think violence will decrease. Still, a sizable
minority of 35% thinks there will be more violence there with U.S. combat troops gone.

Now That Troops Are Being Withdrawn, Will There Be…?


More violence in Iraq 35%
Same amount of violence in Iraq 48
Less violence in Iraq 12

Americans are also more optimistic about how the Iraqi people view the United States than they
were last year. Slightly more now think that most Iraqis feel grateful to the United States for
removing Saddam Hussein rather than resentful for having taken military action against Iraq.
Back in July 2009, slightly more thought that most Iraqis were resentful.

How Are Most Iraqi People Feeling Right Now?


Now 7/2009
Grateful 41% 38%
Resentful 37 44

ASSESSING THE WAR

Looking back, six in 10 Americans think the U.S. should have stayed out of Iraq in the first
place, and just 37% think it was the right thing to do. Belief that the U.S. did the right thing by
going to war with Iraq was high after the initial invasion, and until late 2004 a majority shared
that view. However by early 2006, most Americans thought the U.S. should have stayed out of
Iraq.

Did the U.S. Do The Right Thing Going To War With Iraq?
Now 3/2009 3/2007 2/2006 11/2004 3/2003
Yes 37% 40% 39% 41% 46% 69%
No 59 55 56 54 48 25

In addition, 72% of Americans now do not think the war in Iraq was worth the loss of life and
other costs of attacking Iraq, the highest percentage recorded since the U.S. first invaded Iraq in
2003.

Was The Iraq War Worth It?


Now 9/2009 3/2008 7/2006 1/2004 8/2003
Worth it 20% 24% 28% 30% 43% 46%
Not worth it 72 67 66 63 51 45

Most Americans who either served in Iraq themselves or have an immediate family member
who served in Iraq also say that the war in Iraq was not worth the costs.

Was The Iraq War Worth It?


All Households of
Americans Iraq War veterans
Worth it 20% 22%
Not worth it 72 70
Most Democrats and independents think that the U.S. should have stayed out of Iraq and that
the war was not worth the costs. While most Republicans say that going to war with the Iraq
was the right thing to do (63%), most also say the war was not worth the loss of American life
and other costs of the war (56%).

One of the stated goals in attacking Iraq was to make the U.S. safer from terrorism within its
own borders, but few Americans see this as a result. Just one in four Americans think the U.S.
is now safer from terrorism as a result of the war with Iraq, the lowest percentage recorded to
date. 55% of Americans think the war made no difference in this regard, while 18% think it has
made the country less safe.

As a Result of the War in Iraq, U.S. Is…


Now 3/2008 9/2007 1/2004
Safer from terrorism 25% 36% 31% 50%
Less safe 18 24 23 18
No difference 55 38 43 29

When asked generally whether the U.S. succeeded in accomplishing its objectives in Iraq, 51%
say no, while just 41% say yes. Most Democrats and independents do not think the U.S.
succeeded, but most Republicans do.

Did the U.S. Succeed in Accomplishing its Objectives in Iraq?


All Reps Dems Inds
No 51% 36% 57% 56%
Yes 41 57 36 34

Among respondents who either served in Iraq or have immediate family members who served in
Iraq, 43% think the U.S. succeeded in accomplishing its objectives, but 48% do not.

THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN

While the U.S. pulls most of its combat troops out of Iraq, Americans continue to have an
unfavorable impression of how things are going in Afghanistan. Just 37% think things are going
at least somewhat well, while 52% think things are going at least somewhat badly -- though
these numbers have improved from last month.

How Are Things Going for the U.S. in Afghanistan?


Now 7/2010 3/2010 11/2009
Well 37% 31% 41% 23%
Badly 52 62 51 69

And nearly half of all Americans – 48% - think the U.S. should not be involved in Afghanistan,
while just 43% think the U.S. should be involved there. When this was last asked in December
2009, more thought the U.S. should be involved in Afghanistan.

Should the U.S. Be Involved in Afghanistan Now?


Now 12/2009 10/2009
Yes 43% 49% 51%
No 48 39 39

Most Republicans think the U.S. should be involved there, while most Democrats do not.
________________________________________________________________________
This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1,082 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone
August 20-24, 2010. Phone numbers were dialed from random digit dial samples of both standard land-
line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or
minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
CBS News Poll
Looking Back on Combat Operations in Iraq
August 20-24, 2010

q7 Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the situation with
Iraq?

** TOTAL RESPONDENTS **
*** Party ID ***
Total Rep Dem Ind Mar10c
% % % % %
Approve 52 34 72 46 49
Disapprove 37 57 20 38 34
DK/NA 11 9 8 16 17

q11 Do you think the result of the war with Iraq was worth the loss of American lives and
other costs of attacking Iraq, or not?

Sep09b
Worth it 20 36 11 18 24
Not worth it 72 56 82 74 67
DK/NA 8 8 7 8 9

q12-q63 RELEASED SEPARATELY

q64 Looking back, do you think the United States did the right thing in taking military
action against Iraq, or should the U.S. have stayed out?

Mar09a
Did the right thing 37 63 21 33 40
Should have stayed out 59 33 75 63 55
DK/NA 4 4 4 4 5

q65 How would you say things are going for the U.S. in its efforts to bring stability and
order to Iraq? Would you say things are going very well, somewhat well, somewhat badly,
or very badly?

Jul10b
Very well 6 7 8 4 4
Somewhat well 51 55 48 50 51
Somewhat badly 29 28 32 28 24
Very badly 9 6 10 11 14
Don't know/No answer 5 4 2 7 7

q66 Which of the following do you think deserves most of the credit for the way things
are going for the U.S. in Iraq -- the Bush administration, the Obama administration, both
equally, or neither?

*ANSWERED VERY OR SOMEWHAT WELL IN q65*


Bush administration 26 37 14 29
Obama administration 20 5 35 19
Both 33 37 35 28
Neither 19 19 16 22
DK/NA 2 2 0 2

q67 BLANK
q68 Now that the U.S. is withdrawing most of its combat forces from Iraq, do you think
there will be more violence in Iraq than there is now, less violence than there is now,
or about the same amount of violence as there is now?

** TOTAL RESPONDENTS **
*** Party ID ***
Total Rep Dem Ind
% % % %
More 35 40 27 38
Less 12 15 13 10
About the same amount 48 40 56 46
DK/NA 5 5 4 6

q69 Which do you think most Iraqi people are feeling right now -- grateful to the United
States for getting rid of Saddam Hussein or resentful of the United States for having
taken military action against Iraq?

Jul09a
Grateful 41 56 33 38 38
Resentful 37 25 44 39 44
Both (Vol.) 10 7 15 8 7
DK/NA 12 12 8 15 11

q70 BLANK

q71 As a result of the United States' military action against Iraq, do you think the
United States is more safe from terrorism, less safe from terrorism, or hasn't it made
any difference?

Mar08a
More safe 25 44 18 20 36
Less safe 18 9 20 21 24
No difference 55 46 61 56 38
DK/NA 2 1 1 3 2

q72 Regardless of whether you think taking military action in Iraq was the right thing to
do -- would you say the United States has succeeded in accomplishing its objectives in
Iraq, or has it not succeeded?

Succeeded 41 57 36 34
Not succeeded 51 36 57 56
DK/NA 8 7 7 10

q73 Have you yourself ever served in the U.S. armed forces, or in the U.S. reserves?

Yes 19 19 14 22
No 81 81 86 78

q74 Have you or has anyone in your immediate family served in the armed forces in Iraq?

Yes, self 3 2 3 3
Yes, other 25 26 22 26
Yes, self and other 1 0 2 0
No 72 72 73 70
DK/NA 0 0 0 1

q75 BLANK
q76 Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by fighting the war in Afghanistan
now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Afghanistan now?

** TOTAL RESPONDENTS **
*** Party ID ***
Total Rep Dem Ind Dec09a
% % % % %
Right thing 43 51 38 40 49
Not involved 48 40 53 48 39
DK/NA 9 9 9 12 12

q77 What is your impression of how the war in Afghanistan is going for the United States
right now -- very well, somewhat well, somewhat badly, or very badly?

Jul10b
Very well 2 1 3 2 2
Somewhat well 35 38 39 29 29
Somewhat badly 38 39 39 36 41
Very badly 14 13 10 19 21
Don't know/No answer 11 9 9 14 7

UNWEIGHTED WEIGHTED
Total Respondents 1082

Total Republicans 312 282


Total Democrats 353 362
Total Independents 417 438