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Faced with a choice of withdrawing or increasing troops, Mr. Bush decided on the surge.

More than seven years after it began, polls show, the majority of Americans are opposed to the war. A national CBS News survey taken Aug. 20 to Aug. 24 found 59 percent said the U.S. should have stayed out of Iraq and 72 percent think the Iraq war was not worth the cost in lives and money. Still, Mr. Obama earns solid marks for his handling of the drawdown, with 52 percent saying they approved.