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The War: Nine Months Later

A U.S. Army soldier from Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division secures the rooftop of a house during an operation in search of possible al Qaeda suspects in the Amariyah neighborhood of west Baghdad, Iraq, Aug. 2, 2007.
AP Photo
Most Americans continue to think the war in Afghanistan is going well for the U.S., despite the assassination of one of Afghanistan's vice presidents. Americans still want limited U.S. troop involvement in Afghanistan, though most would extend a military commitment by taking the war to Iraq and removing Saddam Hussein from power.

Americans think the U.S. military should be used to hunt down Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters, and not to keep the peace in that country. Public sentiment is opposed to U.S. forces serving as peacekeepers in Afghanistan. More than half of Americans - 55% - say U.S. troops should only be used to hunt down Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters, while 34% say troops should also be used to keep the peace in Afghanistan.

U.S. TROOPS' MISSION IN AFGHANISTAN
Hunt down Taliban and Al Qaeda 55%
Also to keep peace 34

The overwhelmingly positive assessments of how the war is going found earlier in the year have declined in recent months, as the fighting has continued to go on. Now, just 13% think the war is going very well, compared to 43% who thought that way at the start of this year.

CBSNEWS - New York Times Polls
HOW IS THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN GOING?

 Now6/021/02
Very well

13%

14%

43%


 Now6/021/02
Somewhat well

54%

51%

49%


 Now6/021/02
Somewhat badly/very badly

28%

29%

6%

CBSNEWS Polls


REMOVING SADDAM FROM POWER?

President Bush has publicly stated that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is a threat to the U.S.,and there have recently been news accounts that a plan is in the works to oust the Iraqi leader from power. As has been the case since early this year, the American public is overwhelmingly supportive of the idea. 73% now approve of the U.S. military taking action against Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

U.S. MILITARY ACTION TO REMOVE HUSSEIN
Approve 73%
Disapprove 21

More Republicans than Democrats support efforts to remove the Iraqi leader from power. 84% of Republicans approve of U.S. military action to remove Hussein, compared to 66% of Democrats. Men and women are equally in favor; younger adults are more supportive than older ones.

LESS WORRY ABOUT TERRORISM?

The public's fears of another terrorist attack may have ebbed somewhat since the July 4th holiday, but they still remain high. Now, 73% say a terrorist attack in the U.S. is likely to occur within the next few months, compared to 81% who said that three weeks ago. That figure had been at its highest since last October.

CBSNEWS - New York Times Polls
LIKELIHOOD OF NEW TERRORIST ATTACK AGAINST THE U.S

 Now6/021/0210/01
Very likely

30%

36%

23%

46%


 Now6/021/0210/01
Somewhat likely

43%

45%

48%

39%


 Now6/021/0210/01
Not very/not at all likely

26%

16%

25%

11%

CBSNEWS Polls


Americans remain confident, however, that the U.S. government will be able to protect its citizens from future terrorist attacks. 74% say they have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in the ability of the U.S. government to protect them from future terrorist attacks.

CBSNEWS - New York Times Polls
CONFIDENCE IN U.S. GOV'T TO PROTECT CITIZENS FROM TERROR ATTACKS

 Now6/02
A great deal

21%

16%


 Now6/02
A fair amount

53%

54%


 Now6/02
Not much/none

25%

29%

CBSNEWS Polls


As time passes, however, the public is much less confident that the U.S. government will catch those who sent anthrax through the mail last fall. Aside from an FBI search of the home of a researcher who previously worked at the U.S. Army bioweapons lab, little progress has been made in the case.

Less than half - 49% - say they are very or somewhat confident the government will catch those responsible, down from 73% who felt that way last fall right after the anthrax attacks happened. The same percentage says they are not confident the culprit will be caught.

CBSNEWS - New York Times Polls
CONFIDENT U.S. GOV'T WILL CATCH THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANTHRAX ATTACKS

 Now1/0210/01
Very confident

11%

22%

23%


 Now1/0210/01
Somewhat confident

38%

41%

50%


 Now1/0210/01
Not too/Not at all

49%

36%

27%

CBSNEWS Polls


Men and women are equally concerned about another terrorist attack, however, women are less likely than men to be confident about the U.S. government's ability to protect them.




This poll was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 685 adults, interviewed by telephone July 8-9, 2002. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. Sampling error for subgroups may be higher.

For detailed information on how CBS News conducts public opinion surveys, click here.