Public Attitudes Toward the War in Iraq: 2003-2008

  • March 19, 2008

Five years after the start of the conflict in Iraq, many public evaluations of the situation in Iraq have turned more positive. But there has been no turnaround in the public's opinion about the original decision to take military action in Iraq. While ratings of how things are going in Iraq have improved over the past year and more Americans now say the United States should keep troops there, the proportion saying the initial decision to go to war was wrong has increased since the spring of 2007.

In Pew's latest national survey, conducted Feb. 20-24 among 1,508 adults, a 54% majority said the U.S. made the wrong decision in using military force in Iraq, while 38% said it was the right decision. Last March, 49% said the decision to got to war was wrong, while 43% said it was right. During the third and fourth years of the conflict public opinion on this question was divided, while in the war's first two years clear majorities backed the decision to use force in Iraq.

Read the complete findings Public Attitudes Toward the War in Iraq: 2003-2008 on the Pew Research Center Web site.