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Americans Believe Iraq Was A Mistake, But Are Cautious On Pull-Out

Adding on to the Iraq poll it released yesterday, Gallup has put out another poll today saying that 65 percent of Americans believe the U.S. has an obligation to remain in Iraq until a reasonable level of stability is reached. Thirty-two percent hold the opposite view. The poll was conducted Feb. 21-24.

Gallup has reported that about 60 percent of Americans say that going into Iraq was a mistake. But part of the reason they are conflicted on pulling out now is because 63 percent believe that al Qaeda would be more likely to use Iraq as a terrorist base if the U.S. left and that 57 percent think more Iraqis would die in the ongoing violence in their country. However, Americans are more divided on the question about whether keeping or removing troops from Iraq would increase the likelihood of a terrorist attack on the U.S. Forty percent said that likelihood would increase if American troops remained, and 38 percent said it would increase if the U.S. withdrew.

Gallup concludes that “the next U.S. president will face this confused landscape. Americans obviously are negative about the entire Iraqi enterprise . . . but — perhaps realistically — they believe the attempt to extricate the U.S. military from that country is not going to be a simple or straightforward matter.”

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