Data Journalist

Most Americans are confident that the world order would hold steadfast if there was a global conflict that demanded international cooperation—but that doesn’t mean people are convinced such collaboration won’t be necessary in the near future.

As America approaches the 75th anniversary of D-Day — when Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and changed the trajectory of World War II — a majority (59%) believe another world war is likely to take place in the next 40 years, which is slightly fewer than agreed (64%) with the same statement in 2018.

By comparison, 40% of US adults say America and its counterparts could effectively collaborate in order to make D-Day possible today. More than a third (36%) say that same collaboration would not be possible.

Most Americans (66%) regard the nation’s intervention in World War II as “completely justified” or “somewhat justified.” It’s the most well-supported major military engagement since the country’s original break from England (61%), which sparked the American Revolution.

Americans think World War II was justified, but agreement on other wars is harder to find

But, the general public isn’t convinced that America’s military involvement is always warranted. The Vietnam War is regarded by a majority of US adults as “not very” or “not at all” justified (55%), though that sentiment increases based on generation. Baby Boomers are the most likely (64%) to consider the Vietnam War unjustified, compared to 52% of Gen Xers and 43% of Millennials.

America’s longest ongoing military action, the War in Afghanistan, is regarded as reasonable by 35% of adults, but 42% say it’s unjustified. There is a clean political split regarding the current military engagement in Afghanistan: a majority of Republicans (56%) consider it justified compared to a majority of Democrats (55%) who say it is not.

See full poll results here. Learn more about YouGov RealTime and share your own opinion by signing up to be a panelist here.

Methodology: Total unweighted sample size was 1,214 US adults ages 18+. The responding sample is weighted to the profile of the sample definition to provide a representative reporting sample. Interviews were conducted online between May 21 - 22, 2019.

Image: Getty

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