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article imagePublic and vet majorities claim Afghan and Iraq wars not worth it

By Ken Hanly     Jul 12, 2019 in Politics
A majority of both US veterans and the US general public agree that the US wars in Iraq as well as Afghanistan were not worth fighting, Similar views are held about the US military campaign in Syria.
Poll was carried out by the Pew Research Center
The finding are from a new survey of Americans done by the Pew Research Centre.
The findings come from a new survey of American adults produced by the Pew Research Center. The Iraq war was seen as even more futile than that in Afghanistan although the latter is now well into its second decade. However, many strategists say that Iran benefited the most from the Iraq war. Perhaps the vets and others agree.
One of the architects of the Iraq war, John Bolton is now busy attempting to involve the US in a new confrontation in Iran. Congress however has been debating whether to end the legislation by which these wars were justified the AUMF described by Wikipedia as follows: "The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), Pub. L. 107-40, codified at 115 Stat. 224 and passed as S.J.Res. 23 by the United States Congress on September 14, 2001, authorizes the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001 and any "associated forces". The authorization granted the President the authority to use all "necessary and appropriate force" against those whom he determined "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups. The AUMF was signed by President George W. Bush on September 18, 2001. In December 2016, the Office of the President published a brief interpreting the AUMF as providing Congressional authorization for the use of force against al-Qaeda and other militant groups.[1][2]... Business Insider has reported that the AUMF has been used to allow military action in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Georgia, Yemen, Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iraq, and Somalia.[4]"
The Congress has also passed motions against selling arms to Saudi Arabia and also against helping the Saudis in its war in Yemen.
Views on the Iraq and Afghan wars
Among veterans, 64 percent claim that considering the costs versus the benefits to the US the Iraq war was not worth fighting. Only 33 percent claimed it was. The general public takes a similar view with 62 percent saying it was not worth it and 32 percent that it was.
On Afghanistan 58 percent of veterans and 59 percent of the general public say the war was not worth fighting. Only about 4 in ten or less say it was worth fighting.
Those veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan are no more supportive of the wars than those veterans who did not. There was no difference in views based on rank or even combat experience.
Views do vary on the basis of party affiliation
Republicans are more likely to see the Afghan and Iraq wars as worthwhile than Democrats but even so a majority of Republicans still see the two wars as not worth the costs involved. However, Republican veterans were the only group to see the US participation in the Syria conflict as worth it.
Trump as US military commander-in-chief
The survey results show: "U.S. military veterans are largely supportive of the way Donald Trump is leading the nation’s armed forces. A new Pew Research Center survey of veterans finds that a majority (57%) approve of the way Trump is handling his duties as commander in chief, with about half (48%) saying his administration’s policies have made the military stronger. Pew’s researchers also found that a majority of veterans approve of Trump’s work as commander-in-chief of the US military. "
Political affiliation made a big difference in approval ratings with Republicans much more favorable to Trump than Democrats. Hardly a surprising result!
The approval ratings of the public and veterans are virtually reversed. A net of 57 percent of veterans approve of Trump as commander-in-chief while 41 percent disapprove. In the general public just 41 percent approve while 57 percent disapprove.
More about Afghan war, Iraq war, US public opinion, Pew research center
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