Seven in 10 Americans believe Barack Obama should fulfill his campaign promise to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq within 16 months, a new poll reveals.
A recently completed security agreement calls for the withdrawal of American forces by the end of 2011. But since the election, the president-elect has reiterated support for a 16-month timeline for withdrawal, and has advocated shifting more troops from Iraq to Afghanistan.
In the Washington Post-ABC News poll, 56 percent of respondents said the U.S. is making significant progress in restoring order in Iraq, and two-thirds are optimistic about American prospects there over the next year — a higher level of optimism than at any time in the past five years.
Nevertheless, two-thirds continue to believe the war in Iraq is not worth fighting, and 70 percent say Obama should withdraw U.S. forces within 16 months.
In contrast to the increased confidence in American efforts in Iraq, 51 percent of those polled say the war is not going well in Afghanistan, where a U.S.-led coalition is battling Taliban and al-Qaida forces.
But 55 percent of respondents said the conflict in Afghanistan is worth fighting as part of the war on global terrorism.
President George W. Bush has received little direct credit for improved conditions in Iraq — the Post-ABC poll found that just 30 percent of Americans approve of the job he is doing. Other polls show his approval rating even lower — only 23 percent of respondents in a Quinnipiac University poll approve of the president’s performance.
That’s still better than Congress’ approval rating. An average of polls compiled by Real Clear Politics shows Congress with an approval rating of just 18.4 percent.
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