Majority want troops out of Iraq within a year, suggests global poll
A majority of citizens across the world (67%) think United States-led forces should leave Iraq within a year, suggests a BBC World Service poll of 23,000 people across 22 countries. Just one in four (23%) think foreign troops should remain in Iraq until security improves.
However, half of those polled (49%) believe the United States plans to keep permanent military bases in Iraq. Another 36% believe the US will withdraw all forces once Iraq is stabilised.
Three in five Americans (61%) polled think US forces should get out of Iraq within a year, including 24% who favour immediate withdrawal and 37% who prefer a one year timetable. Another 32% of Americans say the forces should stay until security improves.
Other members of the US-led coalition also have majorities wanting forces out within a year: 65% of Britons, 63% of South Koreans and 63% of Australians.
Three countries – Kenya, the Philippines and India – do not have majorities favouring withdrawal within a year, but in no case does a majority favour remaining until security improves. In Kenya and the Philippines 45% and 44%, respectively, favour remaining and in India just 17% favour this option.
The survey was conducted for BBC World Service by international polling firm GlobeScan together with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. GlobeScan coordinated fieldwork between 29 May and 26 July 2007.
GlobeScan President Doug Miller said: "The weight of global public opinion, and indeed American opinion, is opposed to the Bush administration's current policy of letting security conditions in Iraq dictate the timing of US troop withdrawal."
Steven Kull, Director of PIPA, said: "While majorities in 19 of 22 countries polled want the US to be out of Iraq within a year, in no country does a majority think it will do so."
Kull added: "It seems the US is widely viewed as planning to make Iraq part of its long term military footprint in the Middle East."
BBC World Service Press Office