(NEW YORK) — Nearly a decade after the Iraq war began, nearly 60 percent of Americans believe the war was not worth fighting.
Almost as many Americans feel the same way about the war in Afghanistan. While the overall criticisms of the two wars are far below their peaks, an ABC News/Washington Post poll showed that their critics still far outweight supporters.
The poll shows that 58% of Americans believe the war in Iraq was not worth fighting, while 56% believe the same for the war in Afghanistan.
According to the survey, one of the biggest reasons for the criticism is the prevailing opinion that neither war significantly improved the United States’ security. Just 51 percent of people surveyed believe the war in Afghanistan contributed positively to domestic security. The number for the Iraq war is even lower, at 46 percent.
Perhaps more striking is that the majority of those who consider the wars to have improved U.S. security, less than half of them believe the wars contributed “a great deal.”
The poll found significant differences in responses based on ideologies. Fifty-seven percent of Republicans believe the Iraq war was justified, while just 35 percent of independents and 27 percent of Democrats feel the same way.
The results of the poll are drastically different from when each war began. Shortly after their beginnings, each war was supported by over 80 percent of Americans. As time has worn on, however, support has decreased. Many Americans, it seems, did not expect the wars to be as drawn-out and costly as they have been.
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Joe Sterling, Dave Alsup and Darran Simon, CNN
Jessica Ivins, KSL.com
Nick Valencia, Jason Hanna and Steve Almasy, CNN
Emanuella Grinberg, CNN