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In the realm of global conflicts, World War II is often viewed as the quintessential battle between good and evil.
Nonetheless, a whopping one-third of Americans either believe that it was a mistake or remain unsure about the US’s involvement in the so-called “good war,” according to a new poll by the Economist/YouGov.
The study, which was conducted in honor of Memorial Day, asked 1,500 Americans whether it was a mistake for the US to participate in wars from World War I to Iraq. To ensure accurate representation, the sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2016 presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and other designations, per the site.
The poll found that a whopping 18% of participants were unsure if Uncle Sam should’ve participated in WWII, in which President Franklin Delano Roosevelt deployed troops to fight the Nazis and the Japanese Empire in 1941.
Meanwhile, 14% thought fighting in the “War Against Hitler” was a mistake while 62% believed that contributing soldiers was the right decision.
On average, 60% of participants ages 18 to 29 said it was the correct choice to join the fight while only 49% of people ages 30 to 44 agreed, the Daily Mail reported. Meanwhile, Republicans were the bigger proponents of US involvement in WWII with 77% backing our decision compared to just 63% of Democrats. Similarly, 74% of men agreed with our injecting US troops into Germany while 62% of women thought it was a good idea.
In terms of unpopular wars, the Vietnam War came in first with 48% thinking it was a “mistake” while only 28% supported it and 26% were unsure.
Following close behind was Iraq with 43% calling it a bad move, 33% supporting our involvement and 25% remaining agnostic, per the survey. Afghanistan had a similar spread: 36% percent rejecting it, 25% unsure and 39% in favor.
These stats were divided across partisan battle lines with Democrats overwhelmingly objecting to the three aforementioned wars and Republicans advocating for them.
Korea was the most ambiguous international conflict. About 29% of Americans were undecided about our involvement, while 26% and 44% were in the anti- and pro-war camps, respectively.
Interestingly, 58% of veterans who knew someone who died while serving were more likely to view all the wars as mistakes.
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