A majority of citizens across the world (67%) think US-led forces should leave Iraq within a year, according to 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 percent believe the US will withdraw all forces once Iraq is stabilized.
Three in five Americans (61%) think US forces should get out of Iraq within a year, including 24 percent who favor immediate withdrawal and 37 percent who prefer a one year timetable. Another 32 percent 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 percent of Britons, 63 percent of South Koreans and 63 percent of Australians.
Three countries – Kenya, the Philippines and India – do not have majorities favoring withdrawal within a year, but in no case does a majority favor remaining until security improves. In Kenya and the Philippines 45 percent and 44 percent respectively, favor remaining and in India just 17 percent favor this option.
The survey was conducted for the BBC World Service by the international polling firm GlobeScan together with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. GlobeScan coordinated fieldwork between May 29 and July 26, 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, pointed out, "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.”
Full polling report BBCIraq_Sep07_rpt.pdf