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PEW RESEARCH: Majorities of U.S. veterans, public say the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting

07/22/19

Nearly 18 years since the start of the war in Afghanistan and 16 years since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, majorities of U.S. military veterans say those wars were not worth fighting, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of veterans. A parallel survey of American adults finds that the public shares those sentiments.

Among veterans, 64% say the war in Iraq was not worth fighting considering the costs versus the benefits to the United States, while 33% say it was. The general public’s views are nearly identical: 62% of Americans overall say the Iraq War wasn’t worth it and 32% say it was. Similarly, majorities of both veterans (58%) and the public (59%) say the war in Afghanistan was not worth fighting. About four-in-ten or fewer say it was worth fighting.

Veterans who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan are no more supportive of those engagements than those who did not serve in these wars. And views do not differ based on rank or combat experience.

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