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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/12/19

Majority of US Veterans doubt Value of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria Wars: Pew

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A Pew Research Center opinion poll conducted among 1,284 veterans who had served since 2001 (which also polled 1,087 American civilians as a control), found that a majority of veterans holds that the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars and the intervention against ISIl in Syria were not worth it.

The results were summarized by researchers Ruth Igielnik and Kim Parker.

64% of veterans said that the Iraq War was not worth fighting.

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33% said that it was worthwhile.

These percentages are similar to those of the civilians polled.

It did not matter whether the veterans had actually served in Iraq or not, the 64% who doubted the benefit of the war remained constant.

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Veterans were a little bit more bullish on the Afghanistan War, in that 58% said that it was not worth it. 38% said it was worth fighting.

Again, the civilian percentages are almost the same.

The Syria intervention was slightly more popular, but even there, 55% doubted it had been worthwhile.

In contrast, 58% of civilians had their doubts about Syria.

Those veterans most likely to say that the wars had been worthwhile were members of the Republican Party. Igielnik and Parker write:

"45% of Republican veterans vs. 15% of Democratic veterans say the war in Iraq was worth fighting, while 46% of Republican veterans and 26% of Democratic veterans say the same about Afghanistan. The party gaps are nearly identical among the public."

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It seems to be noteworthy that even among Republican veterans, only a plurality thinks those wars were worth fighting.

Pew didn't ask the why question, so we can only speculate about why there is this lack of confidence in these wars. I've been writing about them for 18 years, and I have some really good speculations.

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Juan Cole Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Juan Cole is an American academic and commentator on the modern Middle East and South Asia.  He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Since 2002, he has written a weblog, Informed Comment (more...)
 

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4 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments  Post Comment


Stan Crawford

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It is not about fighting former Ronald Reagan "Freedom Fighter's" now relabeled "Terrorists, why the USA is in Afghanistan. It is about the more than 14 trillion $'s in estimated mineral wealth the country possesses is why the US will never leave Afghanistan.

Submitted on Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 11:20:49 PM

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Robert Cogan

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For this matter, ask again: How many of the 4 wars we have fought since World War 2, namely Korea, Vietnam as well as Iraq and Afghanistan were worth fighting to we Americans a whole as opposed to the rich and corporations and the politicians who propagandized us into it? My guest, none of them!! Even that $14 trillion mineral wealth of Afghanistan (if it's there.) I don't get rare earths, lithium, etc. for free or because my taxes paid for them!

Submitted on Friday, Jul 12, 2019 at 11:49:14 PM

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Dennis Kaiser

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As to the illegal invasion of Afghanistan we have seen the poppy trade expanding four-fold which I'm sure has helped advance drug traffickers.

The supposed $14 Trillion mineral resources should have nothing to do with this as those resources belong to Afghanistan and to even think we have a right to them by invading that nation is little more than theft. It is not ours it is Afghanistan's and how they use it is their right.

If that reasoning is incorrect my neighbor has a really nice vehicle so I think I'll go over and fight him for it. I wonder how far I'd get with that.

Submitted on Saturday, Jul 13, 2019 at 12:58:45 PM

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911TRUTH

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Afghanistan borders Iran.

Enough said.

Submitted on Saturday, Jul 13, 2019 at 7:28:15 PM

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