Closeness to Troops Boosts Support for War -- but Not By Much

Source Organization: Pew Research Center

05/09/2007 - Nationwide, more than a quarter of adults in America (27%) say they have a very close family member or friend who has served in the current military effort in Iraq or Afghanistan. As one might expect, those with close contacts tend to be more supportive of the Iraq war and President Bush's policies with regard to it.

But the differences between those who are closely connected to someone who has served and those who are not are relatively modest. Even among the closely connected, concerns about the war and America's policies are widespread. For example, people with a very close friend or family member who has served in either Iraq or Afghanistan are more likely to say things are going well in Iraq than are those who lack such a contact (45% vs. 31%). But majorities in both groups (52% and 66%, respectively) say things are not going well.

Similarly, among Americans who do not know anyone who has served, just 22% approve of the president's handling of the situation in Iraq, while 70% disapprove. Among those closely connected to someone who has served the president's standing is better, but even here only 36% approve while 59% disapprove.

Read the full report Closeness to Troops Boosts Support for War - but Not By Much on the Pew Research Center Web site. 

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