70 pct of Americans support Obama on war in Iraq

December 16th, 2008 - 12:40 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Washington, Dec.16 (ANI): Nearly two-thirds of Americans polled, support incoming US President Barack Obamas view that the Iraq War is not worth fighting.
Seventy percent say Obama should fulfill his campaign promise to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq within 16 months, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Most Americans, however, support the war in Afghanistan and a slim majority said the conflict there is essential to battling global terrorism.
A majority of Americans also believe that the U.S. military action there has been unsuccessful.
Public perceptions of the two wars appear to largely dovetail with the views expressed by Obama, who has promised to begin withdrawing most combat troops from Iraq shortly after he takes office on January 20.
Obama has advocated shifting more U.S. troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, where the U.S.-led coalition has been struggling to quell resurgent Taliban and al-Qaeda forces.
The poll findings show that Americans expect Obama to shift U.S. policy in a way that key nominees for his national security team have cautioned against in the past.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, national security adviser-designate James L. Jones and secretary-of-state nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton have all questioned Obama’’s timetable for withdrawing from Iraq, saying the U.S. pullback must occur in a way that does not open the door to a new surge of violence.
Since his election, Obama has reiterated support for a 16-month timeline for withdrawal from Iraq, which he said would be achieved by redeploying combat troops at a pace of one to two brigades a month.
The president-elect has said that his top priority will be ensuring that U.S. troops remain safe during the transition and that the Iraqi people “are well served” as its government takes greater control of that country’’s security.
Much of the American public agrees that security is improving in Iraq, a view that does not change their basic opposition to the war.
Fifty-six percent said the U.S. is making significant progress toward restoring order in Iraq. Overall, two-thirds of Americans are optimistic about U.S. prospects in Iraq over the next year, a rising level of confidence that is rooted in both improved assessments of security on the ground and widespread expectations that Obama will be able to wind down the U.S. role there.
The mounting confidence in U.S. efforts in Iraq stands in contrast to views about the war in Afghanistan, which 51 percent of those surveyed said is not going well.
Today, just 30 percent of Americans approve of how Bush is doing his job; 68 percent disapprove. Bush’’s approval numbers are up somewhat from the fall presidential campaign, when they bottomed out at 23 percent in Post-ABC News polling, but he gets little direct credit for improved perceptions of the situation in Iraq now. (ANI)

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