Date of Publication
Dr. James Spiller, Professor, History
On March 24, 2003 days after the United States invaded Iraq, the Gallup Poll asked Americans: “Do you think going to war with Iraq was a mistake?” 65 percent of respondents believed war with Iraq was appropriate while 20 percent agreed that it was in fact a mistake.1 These figures stunned scholars of public opinion, such as political scientists Amy Gershkoff and Shana Kushner who argued that when Americans expect a military conflict to be long, result in heavy casualties and have high economic costs, they would express their opposition to such a military action. In addition, since some Americans believed that invading Iraq might increase terrorist activity on U.S. soil, public support for the Iraq War in theory should have been relatively low.2 However, then President George W. Bush and his aides managed to cultivate public support over a period of nearly two years by portraying an impending invasion of Iraq as a necessary extension of the so-called “war on terror.”
Nestler, Emily, "American Foreign Policy and Galvanizing Support for the 2003 Iraq War" (2019). Senior Honors Theses. 254.