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US divided over Bush's request for funds for Iraq, Afghanistan operations: Poll
September 15, 2003 16:45 IST
More than half of Americans oppose President George W Bush's request to Congress for an additional $87 billion for funding its operations in war-torn Iraq and resurgent Afghanistan, according to a recent poll.
While fifty-one per cent of the respondents participated in the Newsweek poll said they oppose President Bush's request for additional funding, fifty-five per cent opined that Bush administration did a bad job in preparing the public for the costs of US's efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Just 37 per cent said the administration did a good job and 52 per cent of the participants approved the way Bush handled his job as president, one point down from the last Newsweek poll in August and six points down from a survey conducted by the magazine in July.
The poll shows 42 per cent favour the additional spending and 28 per cent said the additional allocation would make a big difference as against 38 per cent who believe that the difference would be small, it said.
Another 27 per cent opined that the additional expenditure would make no difference in helping the United States achieve its goal in both the countries. When asked about the number of American military personnel now in Iraq, 46 per cent of those polled say the US should reduce its troop strength.
But 51 per cent say the number of US military personnel should be reduced only if they are replaced by international troops while 31 per cent feel that it should be reduced even if they're not replaced.
Two years after the September 11 terror attacks, 52 per cent Americans still do not feel safe, the poll said.
To protect America from another major terrorist attack, 66 per cent of the participants said it's very important that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden be killed or captured, while 20 per cent felt it was somewhat important. Sixty per cent believed it was very important for former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to be killed or captured while 21 per cent opined it's somewhat important.
The respondents were not too confident about a successful transfer of power in Iraq - just 17 per cent are very confident the US will be successful while 38 per cent are somewhat confident and 23 per cent are not too confident and 20 per cent are not at all confident.
On the security scenario in Iraq, just 13 per cent said the efforts to establish security and rebuild Iraq have gone on very well while 40 per cent thought otherwise and 26 per cent say not too well.
Almost half of those polled (48 per cent) think the Bush administration did not have a well-thought-out plan to establish security and a stable government in Iraq while 41 per cent said the administration did have one.
A majority, 64 per cent, still say the US did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq while 31 per cent thought otherwise, the poll shows.