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Many US veterans say Iraq, Afghan wars not worth it

Many US veterans say Iraq, Afghan wars not worth it
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First Published: Wed, Oct 05 2011. 01 29 PM IST

File photo Reuters
File photo Reuters
Updated: Wed, Oct 05 2011. 01 29 PM IST
Washington: A third of US military veterans who have served in the armed forces since the 11 Sept. 2001, attacks think the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting, a poll released on Wednesday showed.
File photo Reuters
The poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that these veterans held somewhat more positive views of those two wars that the general public in the United States but still harbored deep misgivings about the conflicts.
Thirty-three percent of the post-9/11 veterans who took part in the poll said neither of those two wars was worthwhile considering the costs versus the benefits to the United States. That compared to 45% of nonmilitary poll respondents who said neither war was worthwhile.
US forces were sent into Afghanistan in the weeks after the 2001 attacks on the United States to topple that country’s Taliban leaders who had harbored the al Qaeda leaders responsible for 9/11.
The United States led an invasion of Iraq in 2003, toppled Saddam Hussein’s government, but then faced a protracted insurgency. The main justification for the war offered by the United States before the invasion was the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons were found.
More than 4,400 US troops have been killed in Iraq and almost 1,700 killed in Afghanistan, Pentagon figures show.
Looking at each war individually, 50% of the post-9/11 veterans said the war in Afghanistan has been worth fighting and 44% said the same thing about the Iraq war, according to the Pew Research Center.
In comparison, 41% of the US public found the Afghanistan war worth the costs and 36% believed the Iraq war was worthwhile.
Among the post-9/11 veterans, 34% held the view that both of the wars were worthwhile, compared to 28% of the general public, according to the Pew Research Center.
The poll found that 96% of these veterans expressed pride in their military service. But 44% reported difficulties in readjusting to civilian life and 37% reported suffering from post-traumatic stress related to their service.
The findings were based on two nationwide surveys conducted between 28 July and 15 Sept, one involving military veterans and the other involving the general public, Pew Research Center said. It said 1,853 veterans were surveyed, including 712 who served in the military after the 2001 attacks. The general public survey involved 2,003 US adults.
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First Published: Wed, Oct 05 2011. 01 29 PM IST
More Topics: US | Military | Iraq | Afghanistan | War |