In 2003, the Pew organization reported that 72 percent of Americans supported the invasion of Iraq. Today, fifteen years after the invasion, only 32 percent of Americans admit to having been in favor of the Iraq War when it began.
After fifteen years of war, the United States has little to show for its intervention. It’s unsurprising that Americans are trying to distance themselves from foreign policy mistakes that led to a forever war.
A new poll from the Charles Koch Institute and Real Clear Politics demonstrates that Americans are dissatisfied with the United States’ current foreign policy, do not feel safer despite our decade and a half of invasions and conflicts overseas, and are rethinking how and when the United States should use its troops.
A majority of Americans say that the Iraq war has failed to make the United States safer or the Middle East more stable. Sixty-seven percent of Americans said the Iraq War made the United States “less safe” or “neither more or less safe.”
Americans think the Iraq War undermined the world’s safety and stability. Fifty percent of Americans are now in favor of decreasing or entirely removing United States troops from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Moreover, our involvement in Iraq has caused Americans to question military interventions in general. Only 23 percent of Americans say they support using the military more frequently.
The poor decisions that precipitated interventions in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan can’t be undone. But Americans now have 15 years of evidence showing why our foreign policy needs an overhaul. Decision-makers in Washington should take heed as they weigh how to act in North Korea, Syria and other hot spots.
A leading survey research firm, Survey Sampling International, fielded the nationwide survey from March 9 to 14, 2018. The survey had 1,000 total respondents. About half of respondents were surveyed using random phone dials, with half of those being land-line and the other half being cell phone. The other half of respondents were surveyed using Survey Sampling International’s opt-in web-based survey panel. Results are weighted using broad geographic region, education, race and ethnicity, age, and gender. The survey has a conservatively estimated +/- 4 percentage points margin of error.