Majority Of Americans Oppose Afghan War, Don’t Think Iraq War Was Worth Cost

Interesting results from the latest CBS News/NY Times Poll.

First, a majority of Americans don’t believe the Iraq War was worth the cost:

Second,  55% of the public thinks the Afghan War is going badly:

And, 54% thinks we need to begin the process of getting out:

Question for the comments — how much longer can the Obama Administration credibly continue pursuing this war in the face of public opposition ?

FILED UNDER: Afghanistan War, Asia, Iraq War, Middle East, US Politics, World Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Brummagem Joe says:

    Doug, if you’d get the blinders off. Obama is no more eager to continue this war than me but it’s hard (ie. Practically impossible) to go against establishment opinion in the Pentagon and State unless the climate is right. This tells me the weather is changing in exactly the direction that the president wants to go. He gave the military 75% if what they wanted after a long drawn out review process to give the military their last shot. He also set a date to begin withdrawal. There’s going to be another review in December. What do you think the outcome will be Doug? As for Bush’s Iraq fiasco this poll just confirms a bunch of others. The country, or around 70% of it, has wised up to the fact that they were sold a bill of goods that turned into a disaster.    

  2. john personna says:

    It’s become obvious to me that Obama is letting these polls come around as he comes around to withdrawal.  He’d be more of a statesman to get in front of it, but that has risks.  All it takes is one successful terror attack to reverse the public sentiment.  So, he lets people come around until they are asking for it to be over.

  3. Tano says:

    Question for the comments — how much longer can the Obama Administration credibly continue pursuing this war in the face of public opposition ?

    Well Doug, I would suggest you spend a moment analyzing the very data that you present to us, and maybe you could get a clue.
    To wit: According to your first table, the American people were basically evenly divided on the Iraq War from the very beginning. Kinda counter to the conventional wisdom right there, no? But more to the point, by the time that Bush was up for reelection, sentiment about the war was at 34 thinking it was worth it, 62 saying it was not worth it (those are the numbers for July 04, and almost exactly the same for July 05). And yet Bush was reelected!  How did he manage that?
    So in that context, a 38-54 split on Afghanistan should be no problem for Obama – right through his reelection. Even more so, given that he does not have the type of unambiguous, open ended committment to continuing the war that Bush had for Iraq in 04. Obama actually seems well in tune with the American people on this question given that he is both committed to making considerable efforts to strengthen the government so they can defend themselves, but is also committed to starting a withdrawal.
    So basically, I think he can continue this approach well into his second term.

  4. Ellie Light says:

    Oooh are these the same polls that told us Americans supported Obamacare?

  5. anjin-san says:

    Kenyan influence on this poll is plain to see…

  6. Dave Schuler says:

    Note that several of the commenters above are saying that the president is willing to order men to their deaths, purely to promote his own political fortunes.  The remarkable thing to me about thise is that, if they were coming from the President’s critics, they’d be a scathing indictment.  They are apparently intended as support.