How's the War in Iraq Going?
Some two weeks into the war against Iraq, BusinessWeek Online readers remained very optimistic that the U.S. will win, but they're unsure or skeptical that it would achieve the key objectives set forth by President George W. Bush at the outset of the conflict. Those are the primary findings from a Mar. 27 BusinessWeek Online Reader Survey.
Of the nearly 800 readers who participated, 14% of whom were from outside the U.S., some 81% said the U.S. is somewhat or very likely to win the war, vs. 13% who said it's somewhat unlikely or not likely at all.
Readers felt that way even though 65% thought that, to date, the war had gone not as well as expected or not well at all. They seemed to place the responsibility for that on the war's planners -- the President, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and top generals: 62% said their performance had been worse or much worse than expected, vs. the 18% who felt it was better or much better than expected.
SPLIT ON WEAPONS.
Generally, readers felt that soldiers on both sides are performing well: 46% said U.S. troops are doing only about as well as expected, vs. the 33% who thought they're doing better or much better than expected. But that's likely because those who participated in the survey had high expectations of U.S. troops. Asked simply how American soldiers are performing, 59% said extremely well or very well.
Respondents are skeptical, however, over whether victory in Iraq will achieve the President's aims. They were evenly divided on the question of how likely it is that the U.S. will uncover weapons of mass destruction in Iraq: 41% think that's somewhat or very likely, vs. 41% who think it's somewhat or very unlikely.
Similarly, 58% think it's somewhat or very unlikely that the Iraqi people ultimately will regard the U.S. as their liberator, vs. the 29% who think that's somewhat or very likely.
Some 61% of those who participated think it's somewhat or very unlikely that by toppling Saddam Hussein's regime the U.S. will head off terrorist attacks at home, vs. the 28% who think that's somewhat or very likely.
And 67% thought it not very likely or not likely at all that a U.S. victory in Iraq will pave the way for the spread of democracy throughout the Middle and Far East, vs. the 20% who view that as very or somewhat likely.
Asked how personally committed they are to the goals of the war as articulated by the Bush Administration, 41% said they are somewhat or very committed, vs. 50% who said they are not very committed, or not committed at all.
Here are the full results of the survey, which as usual isn't scientific since anyone who wished to could participate:
How would you say the war has gone to date, from the U.S. perspective?
|Much better than expected||34||4.39 %|
|Better than expected||88||11.35 %|
|Neither better nor worse than expected||152||19.61 %|
|Not as well as expected||269||34.71 %|
|Not well at all||226||29.16 %|
|Don't know||6||0.77 %|
How would you describe the performance of U.S. troops in battle?
|Much better than expected||105||13.58 %|
|Better than expected||148||19.15 %|
|Neither better nor worse than expected||356||46.05 %|
|Worse than expected||96||12.42 %|
|Much worse than expected||49||6.34 %|
|Don't know||19||2.46 %|
Overall, how would you say U.S. troops are performing?
|Extremely well||214||27.76 %|
|Very well||242||31.39 %|
|As well as not||157||20.36 %|
|Not very well||83||10.77 %|
|Not well at all||56||7.26 %|
|Don't know||19||2.46 %|
How would you describe the performance of the Iraqi troops in battle?
|Much better than expected||188||24.45 %|
|Better than expected||312||40.57 %|
|Neither better nor worse than expected||196||25.49 %|
|Worse than expected||29||3.77 %|
|Much worse than expected||24||3.12 %|
|Don't know||20||2.60 %|
How would you describe the performance to date of the war's planners (President Bush, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, and the nation's top generals) in coming up with a good battle strategy?
|Much better than expected||50||6.48 %|
|Better than expected||88||11.4 %|
|Neither better nor worse than expected||148||19.17 %|
|Worse than expected||178||23.06 %|
|Much worse than expected||299||38.73 %|
|Don't know||9||1.17 %|
At this point, how likely do you think it is that U.S. forces will uncover or be exposed to Iraqi weapons of mass destruction?
|Very likely||162||20.96 %|
|Somewhat likely||160||20.7 %|
|As likely as not||116||15.01 %|
|Somewhat unlikely||153||19.79 %|
|Very unlikely||161||20.83 %|
|Don't know||21||2.72 %|
At this point, how likely do you think it is that the Iraqi people ultimately will regard the U.S. as their liberator?
|Very likely||78||10.05 %|
|Somewhat likely||146||18.81 %|
|As likely as not||95||12.24 %|
|Somewhat unlikely||117||15.08 %|
|Very unlikely||333||42.91 %|
|Don't know||7||0.90 %|
At this point, how likely do you think it is that by toppling Saddam Hussein's regime, the U.S. will head off terrorist attacks at home?
|Very likely||122||15.78 %|
|Somewhat likely||98||12.68 %|
|As likely as not||73||9.44 %|
|Somewhat unlikely||82||10.61 %|
|Very unlikely||388||50.19 %|
|Don't know||10||1.29 %|
According to some theories, a U.S. victory in Iraq will pave the way for the spread or imposition of democracy throughout the Middle and Far East. At the moment, would you say that this is:
|Very likely||39||5.05 %|
|Somewhat likely||116||15.01 %|
|Neither more nor less likely||95||12.29 %|
|Not very likely||191||24.71 %|
|Not likely at all||326||42.17 %|
|Don't know||6||0.78 %|
How likely do you think it is that the U.S. will win in Iraq?
|Very likely||479||61.97 %|
|Somewhat likely||144||18.63 %|
|Neither more nor less likely||45||5.82 %|
|Somewhat unlikely||52||6.73 %|
|Not likely at all||45||5.82 %|
|Don't know||8||1.03 %|
How committed would you say you are personally to the goals of the war as articulated by the Bush Administration?
|Very committed||225||29.22 %|
|Somewhat committed||93||12.08 %|
|As committed as not||59||7.66 %|
|Not very committed||80||10.39 %|
|Not committed at all||305||39.61 %|
|Don't know||8||1.04 %|
Where do you live?
|Outside the U.S.||108||13.92 %|