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U.S. divided over war's progress


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(CNN) -- Americans are evenly divided over whether things are going well for the United States in Iraq now that major fighting has ended, according to a poll released Wednesday afternoon.

Half the respondents to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll said things are going well, while 49 percent said the effort is going badly.

The percentage of people who say things are going well fell 20 percentage points from 70 percent in May. That number was 56 percent in June and July.

The poll shows the 1,009 American adults interviewed August 25-26 are divided on a number of war-related issues.

A majority of Americans believe the situation in Iraq was worth going to war over at 63 percent. But 35 percent disagree.

Only 35 percent said the war was not worth fighting, while 63 percent said it was.

Fifty-seven percent believe the war in Iraq is part of the war on terrorism that began September 11, 2001. Only 41 percent consider it an entirely separate military action.

But those seem to be the only two war-related areas where a majority of Americans agree.

When asked whether U.S. troops should be withdrawn from Iraq, 14 percent say all military personnel should be taken out and 32 percent say some troops should be sent home. That adds up to 46 percent who want to see at least some withdrawal.

With 36 percent in favor of keeping the current level of troop strength and 15 percent wanting to send more troops, the split in public opinion on troop withdrawal is clear.

As for leadership, most Americans -- 54 percent -- do not believe President George W. Bush has a clear plan for handling Iraq. Just 44 percent believe he does.


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