WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – A recently conducted survey shows that, for the first time, the majority of people in the United States view war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan as failures.
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that, in all, 52 percent of Americans feel the nation’s military has “mostly failed” in achieving their goals in both embattled nations. Conversely, less than 40 percent felt either mission had been successful.
Researchers involved in the study noted that the figures represent the continuation of a trend that began several years ago.
“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 percent) thought the U.S. had achieved its goals there,” a release on the poll’s findings noted. “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.”
It continued, “At that time, 58 percent 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 topic of war was mentioned during the State of the Union address, when Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg, a severely wounded Army Ranger, was recognized for his service in Afghanistan.
The perception of failure in both Iraq and Afghanistan was seen in both Democrats and Republicans who were polled on the matter.
“[T]here are no significant partisan differences in opinions about whether the U.S. has achieved its goals in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the release stated. “Fewer than half of Republicans, Democrats and independents say the U.S. has mostly succeeded in achieving its goals in either country.”
“Like the Army he loves, like the America he serves, Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg never gives up and he does not quit,” President Barack Obama said.
The president used the moment to help draw attention to the sacrifices and stories of wounded veterans who try each day to rebuild bodies and minds torn apart by war.
Remsburg, a 30-year-old recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart who had served 10 deployments and now has limited movement on his left side and is blind in one eye, then rose, his father, Craig, wrapping an arm around his son’s back for support.
A reported 1,504 American adults were selected at random to participate in the study, which was conducted between Jan. 15 and Jan. 19 of this year, according to the release.
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