Poll: Majority believe Iraq will be judged a failure by history

A slim majority of Americans (53 percent) believe the war in Iraq will be called a failure in the future, according to the latest Gallup poll. Forty-two percent, on the other hand, are confident it will be judged a success.

Respondents were polled as the United States prepared to withdraw on Aug. 18 its final combat troops from Iraq. About 50,000 remain to assist Iraqi security forces, which 61 percent of Americans say will not be able to handle attacks by insurgents. Republicans had gloomier responses than Democrats, at 67 percent versus 55 percent lacking confidence in Iraqi forces.

Still, confronted with the potential for disorder in Iraq in the coming year, only 43 percent believe troops should remain past the final withdrawal deadline in summer 2011.

The public's feeling about how the war will be judged by history — despite a slightly lower feeling of failure in mid-2006 — has remained consistent since 2008 and mirrors levels of support for the war in general: 41 percent now agree it was right to send troops, while 55 percent think it was a mistake.

These views also mirror respondents' partisan affiliation: 78 percent of Democrats call the war a mistake, while 67 of Republicans say it was not a mistake.

The survey was conducted from Aug. 5-8, and has a 4-point margin of error.