The majority of Canadians, like citizens from most other nations, favoura withdrawal ofU.S. troops from Iraq within one year, according to a new BBC world poll released Thursday.
The global survey of more than 23,000 people sampled across 22 countries suggests that 67 per cent of the participants want the U.S. to leave Iraq in a year, while only 23 per cent think the troops should remain in Iraq until the country is stabilized.
Of the Canadians polled, the BBC World Service study suggests that one way or another, two-thirds (or 67 per cent) of Canadians want U.S. troops to leave Iraq within a year.
Immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces is favoured by 32 per cent of Canadians polled, while 35 per cent believe giving the U.S. a one-year timetable for a pullout is more appropriate.
|VIEWS OF WHAT U.S.-LED FORCES IN IRAQ SHOULD DO|
|Country||Withdraw immediately||Commit to gradually withdraw over one year||Remain in Iraq until security improves||Other/don't know|
|Source: BBC World Service poll|
Only 23 per cent of the Canadians surveyed support keeping the foreign forces in Iraq until the country is able to stand on its own. When asked if they believed the U.S. would pack up and leave once the region was stabilized, or establish permanent military bases there, most (46 per cent) thought the U.S. planned to eventually leave Iraq.
By comparison, the international average from the poll suggests that just less than half of people across the world (49 per cent) believe the U.S. military is in Iraq to stay. An average of 36 per cent of respondents believe the U.S. will withdraw all forces once Iraq is stabilized.
19 of 22 nations want pullout in a year
"It seems the U.S. is widely viewed as planning to make Iraq part of its long-term military footprint in the Middle East," director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) Steven Kull said in a release.
PIPA helped international polling firm GlobeScan collect data with research partners in: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Turkey and the United States.
'It seems the U.S. is widely viewed as planning to make Iraq part of its long-term military footprint in the Middle East."— Steven Kull, director of Program on International Policy Attitudes
In a release, Kull also said that "while majorities in 19 of 22 countries polled want the U.S. to be out of Iraq within a year, in no country does a majority think it will do so."
Stacking up Thursday's findings against the same poll from February 2006, the new poll suggests that the Western world has dropped its support for remaining in Iraq to half of what it was.
Twocountriesclearly did not share the dominant view that the U.S. should leave within a year— Kenya andthe Philippines. In Kenya, 45 per cent tended to think U.S. forces should remain in Iraq, while 44 per cent agreed in the Philippines.
India also did not have a majority in favour of a U.S. withdrawal within a year. But although only 17 per cent of Indians polled said troops should remain in Iraq, a large group of people (36 per cent)said they did not knowwhich option was best.
All questionnaires were conducted between May 29 and July 26, 2007.
The study was limited to major urban areas and had a margin of error per country that ranged from plus or minus 2.4 per cent to 3.5 per cent.