By Mike Lillis
More than half the country thinks history will judge the Iraq War to have been a mistake, according to the results of a survey released Friday.
Fifty-three percent of respondents said the conflict will be deemed either a "total failure" or "mostly a failure" — roughly the same as the 51 percent of respondents who answered that way in 2006, pollsters at Gallup reported.
That compares to 42 percent of Americans who think the war will be judged a success — also consistent with the 2006 figure, which was 43 percent, Gallup found.
The numbers mirror, almost exactly, the respondents' views of the war in general, with 55 percent of Americans saying the war was a mistake, and 41 percent indicating it was a good idea.
The survey arrives in the same week that the White House pulled the last combat troops out of Iraq after more than seven years of fighting. More than 4,400 American troops were killed in the conflict, and tens of thousands more were injured.
Roughly 50,000 U.S. troops remain in training and support roles, with President Obama vowing to pull them all out by the end of the year. Many military experts, however, are warning that the Iraqi security forces aren't prepared to stabilize the country on their own — an assessment the public backs 61 percent to 34 percent, Gallup found.
Breaking from those military experts, however, most of the respondents (53 percent) said Obama should stick to his withdrawal timetable, versus 43 percent who think it a good idea to remain in in Iraq if local forces can't keep order on their own.
Among the other key findings, Gallup reported:
• Sixty-four percent of Americans think Iraq is currently better off than it was before the war — down from 72 percent in 2004.
• Thirty-percent of respondents said the country is worse off than before the invasion — up from 24 percent in 2004.
• The responses are highly partisan, with 78 percent of Democrats saying the war was a mistake, and just 30 percent of Republicans agreeing.
The survey was conducted in the first week of August.