Most US veterans say Iraq, Afghan wars not worth costs

Support for conflicts much higher among Republican vets than their Democratic counterparts, Pew survey suggests

Michael Hernandez   | 10.07.2019
Most US veterans say Iraq, Afghan wars not worth costs Veterans Day Parade in New York City in November, 2016 in New York City. ( Volkan Furuncu - Anadolu Agency )


A majority of U.S. veterans dispute whether the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were worth the toll they took, a new survey released Wednesday indicated.  

Nearly two-thirds, or 64%, of veterans whose views were asked by the Pew Research Center said the Iraq war was not worth fighting given the costs it incurred. And 58% of those surveyed said the ongoing Afghan war is not worth fighting.

Those views are in line with the general public's assessment of the conflicts, the research firm said.  

Neither experience in those wars, nor combat experience more broadly taken affected support for the conflicts among veterans, according to Pew.

It noted, however, that significant variances were seen based on political party affiliation with Republican veterans three-times as likely as their Democratic counterparts to support the Iraq war, and nearly twice as likely to say the war in Afghanistan was worth fighting.

Those trends hold through amongst the broader public.

Asked about U.S. operations in Syria, veterans took a similarly dim view with just 42% saying efforts expended have been worth it compared to 55% who said it was not.

As with the other conflicts, Republican veterans were far more likely to support the military campaign.

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