October 5, 2011
One in three US veterans of the post-9/11 military believes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not worth fighting, and a majority think that, after 10 years of combat, America should be focusing less on foreign affairs and more on domestic problems, according to an opinion poll.
The findings pose a dilemma for the Obama administration and Congress as they struggle to reduce the huge budget deficit and reconsider defence priorities while trying to bolster public support for the continued presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Nearly 4,500 US troops have been killed in Iraq and some 1,700 in Afghanistan. Combined war costs since the September 11 terrorist attacks have exceeded $1 trillion.
The results of the survey, presented by the Washington-based Pew research centre on Wednesday, portray the war veterans as proud of their work, scarred by warfare and convinced that the American public has little understanding of the problems that wartime service has created for military members and their families.