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American attitudes about the US invasion of Iraq are nearly evenly split 15 years after the war began, a new Pew poll finds.
Forty-eight percent of respondents said the US made the wrong decision in using military force in Iraq, while 43% said it was the right decision.
The poll, which was conducted from March 7-14, found that more than half of Americans (53%) believe the US mostly failed to accomplish its goals in Iraq. Only 39% said they thought it had mostly succeeded.
Beliefs about the Iraq War continue to be largely divided along partisan lines. Sixty-one percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say the US was right to use military force in Iraq, compared to only 27% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. Half of conservative Republicans and 43% of moderate/liberal Republicans said they thought the US mostly succeeded in its goals, according to Pew. In contrast, only 18% of liberal Democrats and 39% of conservative/moderate Democrats said the same.
Overall, positive opinions of the war have declined since it began. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents in May 2003 said they thought the US invasion was the right decision. That number dropped to its lowest point in Pew records – 36% – in late December 2007 and has not been above 50% since February 2006.
On March 19, 2003, then-President George W. Bush announced the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom, telling the American people military action against Iraq had begun.
The war in Iraq would go on for almost nine years – until December 2011, when the last US troops in that nation crossed the border to Kuwait. The US still has a military presence in the country, however, to fight ISIS.