The Program on International Policy Attitudes released a new poll on Iraqi public opinion today which finds that seven in ten Iraqis want US-led forces to commit to withdraw within a year. Moreover, an overwhelming majority believes that the US military presence in Iraq is provoking more conflict than it is preventing. The poll was conducted during the first week of September. Here are some of its key findings:
– A large majority of Iraqis–71%–say they would like the Iraqi government to ask for US-led forces to be withdrawn from Iraq within a year or less. Given four options, 37 percent take the position that they would like US-led forces withdrawn “within six months,” while another 34 percent opt for “gradually withdraw[ing] US-led forces according to a one-year timeline.”
– Support for attacks against US-led forces has increased sharply to 61 percent (27% strongly, 34% somewhat). This represents a 14-point increase from January 2006, when only 47 percent of Iraqis supported attacks.
– More broadly, 79 percent of Iraqis say that the US is having a negative influence on the situation in Iraq, with just 14 percent saying that it is having a positive influence.
– Asked “If the US made a commitment to withdraw from Iraq according to a timeline, do you think this would strengthen the Iraqi government, weaken it, or have no effect either way?” 53 percent said that it would strengthen the government, while just 24 percent said it would weaken the government.
– Asked what effect it would have “if US-led forces withdraw from Iraq in the next six months,” 58 percent overall say that violence would decrease (35% a lot, 23% a little).
Read the full report HERE.