Brookings Institution

U.S. Exit From Iraq: Zogby Poll Analysis

According to a new Zogby Poll, "An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and nearly one in four say the troops should leave immediately."

I am dubious that 72 percent of all US troops think we should leave Iraq within a year, as suggested by the recent Zogby poll. Doing so would be tantamount to accepting defeat, and contrasts with virtually every other poll done over the last 3 years of US troops, who have consistently shown a great deal of optimism about the mission (perhaps somewhat excessively so, in fact!).

My best guess is that the way the poll question was worded led people to indicate that they'd like to see the US leave Iraq within 12 months because there was no other option among the possible multiple-choice responses that corresponded with their rough views—which I believe to be, roughly, that we should in fact stay long enough to succeed, but not indefinitely.