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Americans still divided on end of Iraq war after 5 years
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Five years into a tormenting conflict in Iraq, which has led to great loss of life and properties for the United States, there are still sharp divisions among Americans on how to end the war.

While the conflict looks likely to drag on for the years to come, the debate about its final way out will also remain undecided for some time.

Winning unlikely

Even President George W. Bush, the war's staunchest defender, conceded on that Wednesday.

"Five years into this battle, there is an understandable debate over whether the war was worth fighting, whether the fight is worth winning, and whether we can win it," Bush said in his speech that marks the war's fifth anniversary at the Pentagon.

"The answers are clear to me: removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision, and this is a fight America can and must win," he noted.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, John McCain from Arizona, seemed to agree.

He has said he would stay the course and win the war if elected president, even if it will take 100 years or more.

But the majority of the Americans are unconvinced.

War, as late Prussian military guru Carl von Clausewitz wrote, is politics by other means. In other words, a war is not won until its political and strategic objectives have been secured.

Fred Kaplan, a well-known US journalist, said at the onset of the war, Bush's aides seemed to have no idea on how to fulfill these objectives and thus don't have a winning strategy.

The rationale on surface for launching the war is to get rid of terrorists. Fundamentally, it has two grander goals, to export so-called US democracy and to make strategic gains in the Middle East.

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