Iraq: Your Postwar Appraisal


President George W. Bush has all but declared victory in Iraq, and readers of BusinessWeek Online give him plenty credit for the success of the U.S. invasion. Even so, they're skeptical that his Administration ultimately will achieve many of its goals in Iraq. Those are among the major findings of our Apr. 25 Reader Survey.

Most striking were the responses of the 480 readers who participated in this survey to four questions we asked in an earlier poll, on Mar. 27 during the heat of the battle.

For instance, some 49% of those who responded this time felt that the planners of the war had done better or much better than expected, vs. the 18% who thought so in March. Some 64% thought the war went better or much than expected, vs. the 17% who thought it was headed that way a month or so ago.

SKEPTICAL ON WMD. This time around, a resounding 62% thought U.S. troops did better or much better than expected in battle, vs. the 34% who felt that way in March. And 69% thought Iraqi troops did worse or much worse than expected in battle, vs. the 8% who felt that way at a time when U.S. forces were seemingly having trouble quashing the resistance in southern Iraq.

On the question of whether the invasion will ultimately achieve its objectives, some opinions have changed over the past five weeks. Only some 39% of those in the recent survey think the U.S. will uncover any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, down a bit from 42% in March. However, the percentage who think it's unlikely that such weapons will be found rose, from 40% to 49%.

Some 34% of those who responded think the Iraqi people will come to regard the U.S. as their liberator, up slightly from 30% who felt that way a month ago. A majority -- 58% -- still think it's somewhat or very unlikely that by toppling Saddam Hussein's regime the U.S. will have headed off terrorist attacks at home. That's nearly unchanged from March, when 60% of readers felt that way.

WORTH IT ALL? Readers are a bit more hopeful that the U.S. victory will lead to the spread of democracy in the Middle and Far East: Some 28% think so now, vs. 21% a month ago. But more than 61% still think that isn't likely.

In retrospect, 43% say they were personally committed to the goals of the war as articulated by the Bush Administration -- the same percentage as a month ago. The percentage of readers who weren't personally committed to those goals remained essentially unchanged, at 48%.

Responding to a new question, in the latest poll some 44% of readers said it's somewhat or very likely that the invasion of Iraq will prove to have been worth its cost in terms of money spent and lives lost on both sides. That compares with 48% who said that it's somewhat unlikely or not likely at all that the war will have been worth the cost.

About 13% of those who participated in the most recent poll live outside the U.S., with the remainder spread about equally across the country. Some 38% said they voted for Bush in the last election, vs. 31% who voted for Gore and 31% who said they didn't or couldn't vote in the 2000.

Here are the complete results of the survey, which as always is unscientific since anyone who wished to could participate. (For the results of our earlier poll, see "How's the War in Iraq Going?")

How would you say the war went, from the U.S. perspective?

Option

Total

%

Much better than expected

145

30.59 %

Better than expected

155

32.7 %

Neither better nor worse than expected

105

22.15 %

Not as well as expected

43

9.07 %

Not well at all

22

4.64 %

Don't know

4

0.84 %

How do you think U.S. troops did in battle?

Option

Total

%

Much better than expected

145

30.59 %

Better than expected

145

30.59 %

Neither better nor worse than expected

155

32.7 %

Worse than expected

19

4.01 %

Much worse than expected

8

1.69 %

Don't know

2

0.42 %

How do you think the Iraqi troops did in battle?

Option

Total

%

Much better than expected

14

2.96 %

Better than expected

39

8.25 %

Neither better nor worse than expected

88

18.6 %

Worse than expected

157

33.19 %

Much worse than expected

171

36.15 %

Don't know

4

0.85 %

How would you describe the performance of the war's planners (President Bush, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, and the nation's top generals) in coming up with a good battle strategy?

Option

Total

%

Much better than expected

100

21.19 %

Better than expected

133

28.18 %

Neither better nor worse than expected

127

26.91 %

Worse than expected

56

11.86 %

Much worse than expected

46

9.75 %

Don't know

10

2.12 %

At this point, how likely do you think it is that the U.S. will uncover Iraqi weapons of mass destruction?

Option

Total

%

Very likely

104

21.99 %

Somewhat likely

79

16.7 %

As likely as not

56

11.84 %

Somewhat unlikely

79

16.7 %

Very unlikely

153

32.35 %

Don't know

2

0.42 %

At this point, how likely do you think it is that the Iraqi people regard the U.S. as their liberator?

Option

Total

%

Very likely

51

10.83 %

Somewhat likely

102

21.66 %

As likely as not

85

18.05 %

Somewhat unlikely

93

19.75 %

Very unlikely

139

29.51 %

Don't know

1

0.21 %

At this point, how likely do you think it is that by toppling Saddam Hussein's regime, the U.S. has headed off terrorist attacks at home?

Option

Total

%

Very likely

86

18.22 %

Somewhat likely

67

14.19 %

As likely as not

44

9.32 %

Somewhat unlikely

50

10.59 %

Very unlikely

221

46.82 %

Don't know

4

0.85 %

According to some theories, a U.S. victory in Iraq will pave the way for the spread or imposition of democracy throughout the Middle and Far East. At the moment, would you say that this is:

Option

Total

%

Very likely

32

6.77 %

Somewhat likely

98

20.72 %

Neither more nor less likely

52

10.99 %

Not very likely

121

25.58 %

Not likely at all

166

35.1 %

Don't know

4

0.85 %

How likely do you think it is that the U.S. victory in Iraq was worth its cost in terms of money spent and lives lost on both sides?

Option

Total

%

Very likely

145

30.53 %

Somewhat likely

64

13.47 %

Neither more nor less likely

30

6.32 %

Somewhat unlikely

53

11.16 %

Not likely at all

176

37.05 %

Don't know

7

1.47 %

In retrospect, how committed would you say you were personally to the goals of the war as articulated by the Bush Administration?

Option

Total

%

Very committed

139

29.2 %

Somewhat committed

64

13.45 %

As committed as not

38

7.98 %

Not very committed

54

11.34 %

Not committed at all

177

37.18 %

Don't know

4

0.84 %

Where do you live?

Option

Total

%

Northeast

108

22.78 %

Midwest

78

16.46 %

South

86

18.14 %

Southwest

41

8.65 %

West

98

20.68 %

Outside the U.S.

63

13.29 %

Who did you vote for in the last Presidential election?

Option

Total

%

Bush

174

37.74 %

Gore

145

31.45 %

Didn't/couldn't vote

142

30.8 %


Tim Cook's Reboot
LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus