Much of the U.S. public disagrees with the Bush administration's
optimistic outlook. More than three-fourths of the public think
it's likely that Iraq will develop into civil war, according to
an Associated Press-Ipsos poll taken in early March.
Some members of President Bush's Republican Party have sought
to distance themselves from the president's strategy, arguing
that Iraq has been liberated and that American troops should not
be expected to solve civil strife.
"I think it's important that we stop this talk about we're
not going to leave until we achieve victory," Senator Chuck
Hagel of Nebraska, who is considering running for president in
2008, told ABC News.
"Well, what is victory? We achieved victory: Saddam's gone,
the Iraqis have a constitution, they had an election, it's now
up to them," he added.
while poll numbers are not supportive of the president's Iraq
strategy, there were few antiwar protests to mark the third anniversary.
Chicago saw 7,000 demonstrators on Saturday, New York had about
1,000 and smaller protests were held in Boston, San Francisco,
Portland and other cities.
In the three years since military action began, 2,313 American
military personnel and Defense Department civilians have died.
Iraqi casualties measure between 33,000 and 37,000, according
to the Iraq Body Count Project, an independent group that monitors
Compiled by Annie Schleicher for NewsHour Extra