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Poll Reveals Deep Conflicts on Iraq Policy

A survey by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) sheds light on how conflicted Americans are over the issue of armed conflict in Iraq.

As NPR's Marcus Rosenbaum reports, the survey, conducted by the polling firm Knowledge Networks, set out a list of "for" and "against" arguments on two issues:

- Should the United Nations strengthen the inspection process, or authorize an invasion?

- Should the United States proceed with military action if it fails to get U.N. authorization?

In both cases, respondents found compelling arguments on both sides, in some cases by overwhelming majorities.

For instance, 77 percent agreed with the statement that military action is necessary because Iraq refuses to cooperate with weapons inspectors. But 71 percent found a convincing argument for continued arms inspections, agreeing with the assertion that if Iraq is invaded, Saddam Hussein might unleash weapons of mass destruction.

The PIPA poll is full of similar examples of divided opinions. But it also shows Americans are not willing to wait forever on the inspection process. Nearly six out of 10 say that if things haven't changed in two months, they'd be in favor of the United Nations authorizing an invasion.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.