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Poll shows troops in support of war
Despite a year of ferocious combat, mounting casualties and frequent deployments, support for the war in Iraq remains very high among the active-duty military, according to a Military Times Poll.

Sixty-three percent of respondents approve of the way President Bush is handling the war, and 60% remain convinced it is a war worth fighting. Support for the war is even greater among those who have served longest in the combat zone: Two-thirds of combat vets say the war is worth fighting.

But the men and women in uniform are under no illusions about how long they will be fighting in Iraq; nearly half say they expect to be there more than five years.

In addition, 87%% say they're satisfied with their jobs and, if given the choice today, only 25% say they'd leave the service.

Compared with last year, the percentages for support for the war and job satisfaction remain essentially unchanged.

A year ago, 77% said they thought the military was stretched too thin to be effective. This year, that number shrank to 66%.

The findings are part of the annual Military Times Poll, which this year included 1,423 active-duty subscribers to Air Force Times, Army Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times.

The subscribers were randomly surveyed by mail in late November and early December. The poll has a margin of error of +/—2.6%.

Among the poll's other findings:

• 75% oppose a military draft.

• 60% blame Congress for the shortage of body armor in the combat zone.

• 12% say civilian Pentagon policymakers should be held accountable for abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Contributing: The independent Military Times Media Group consists of four newspapers published by Gannett

 
 
 
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