Survey: Troops Believe in Iraq Mission, Morale Generally High

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2006 - Two-thirds of U.S. troops serving in Iraq say they believe the cause they're fighting for is worthwhile, according to a new Stars and Stripes survey.

The survey results, reported in the July 19 Mideast edition of Stars and Stripes newspaper, revealed that 46 percent of readers in Iraq who responded to a survey called fighting the war for America "very worthwhile." Another 30 percent rated it "somewhat worthwhile."

Fourteen percent of respondents called the mission "not very worthwhile," and just 8 percent referred to it as "not worthwhile at all," the July 20 paper reported.

The survey explored readers' views on a variety of other issues. Among them were how clearly their mission is defined, their unit's as well as their personal morale, support for troops in the Middle East, and how informed they are about that support.

Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that their mission is clearly defined, the survey noted. Fifty-five percent called it "very clear" and 27 percent called it "somewhat clear." Nine percent said it's "somewhat unclear," and 7 percent said it's "not at all clear."

Unit morale is high, and personal morale even higher, most respondents said. Forty-four percent called unit morale "very high," and 43 percent gave the same ranking for their personal morale. Eighteen percent called their unit morale "somewhat high," and 30 percent ranked their personal morale at that level.

Twenty-six percent of respondents called unit morale "somewhat low," and 19 percent gave that rating for their personal morale. Ten percent reported "very low" unit morale, and 6 percent rated their personal morale at rock bottom.

The vast majority of deployed troops agreed that public support for troops in the Middle East is strong. Forty-four percent rated it "very strong," and 26 percent called it "somewhat strong." Twenty-two percent of respondents called it "not very strong," and 6 percent "weak."

Two-thirds of respondents believe they're well informed about what the public is doing to support troops serving in the Middle East, the survey showed. Forty-four percent called themselves "very well informed," 20 percent "somewhat informed," 28 percent "not very well informed," and 6 percent rated themselves "not well (informed) at all."

Responses appeared to track with military rank. Eight-eight percent of senior officers, for example, ranked both unit and personal morale as high or very high. Among junior enlisted servicemembers, 49 percent rated unit morale as high or very high and 66 percent gave that same rating to their own personal morale.

Almost across the board, respondents said conditions in Iraq had improved since they arrived there. Sixty-nine percent of senior officers, 66 percent of senior enlisted members and 64 percent of junior enlisted troops said conditions were very or somewhat improved. Forty-eight percent of junior officers assigned that rating to conditions.

Nearly 600 Stars and Stripes readers in Iraq responded to the survey, and the results were compiled by media experts from MORI Research, the newspaper reported.

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