Iraq War Poll: 10 Years Later, Majority View Invasion As Mistake

FILE - In this May 1, 2003 file photo, President George W. Bush speaks aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln off th
FILE - In this May 1, 2003 file photo, President George W. Bush speaks aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln off the California coast. As slogans go, President Barack Obama's promise of the “light of a new day” in Afghanistan isn't as catchy as the “Mission Accomplished” banner that hung across the USS Abraham Lincoln the day President George W. Bush announced the end of major combat operations in Iraq. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Ten years after the United States invaded Iraq, 53 percent of Americans now view the war as a mistake -- but with a majority of Republicans still standing behind the effort, according to a new Gallup survey.

The American public -- operating off the inaccurate assumption that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction -- initially backed invading Iraq by substantial majorities.

But since August 2005, the country has largely has turned against the war. The current 53 percent believing the war is a mistake, however, is down from the 63 percent who thought so in April 2008.

Republicans continue to stand behind President George W. Bush's invasion decision. According to Gallup, "66% of respondents who identify as or lean Republican say the U.S. 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."

Additionally, Americans aged 65 or older are more likely than the younger generation to view the war as a mistake.

The Huffington Post's David Wood looks back at the cost of the war:

The war in Iraq was launched March 20, 2003, in Baghdad and unexpectedly stretched on for 106 months, just short of nine years. During that time, 1,111,610 Americans served there for a total of 2,337,197 deployments, with some serving two or more times.

Four thousand, four hundred and eighty-eight of them came home in flag-draped coffins, including 110 women, according to Defense Department data. Thirty-two thousand, two hundred and twenty-one were brought home with serious combat wounds ranging from concussions to multiple limb amputations. Two hundred and thirty-five took their own lives while deployed.

In Iraq, 115,376 Iraq civilians were killed between 2003 and 2011 as sectarian fighting intensified, according to the Brookings Institution's Iraq Index, while the number of internally displaced Iraqi civilians rose from 400,000 in 2003 to 2.7 million by 2010.



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