Page last updated at 06:52 GMT, Thursday, 10 September 2009 07:52 UK

'Most against' UK troops in Iraq

British Army soldier in Basra, Iraq
More mothers than fathers discouraged their children from joining the Army

Six out of 10 people think UK troops should not have gone to Iraq, a survey for the National Army Museum has found.

A fifth of the 2,000 polled backed the policy, while the remaining 20% were either neutral, undecided or abstained.

On Afghanistan, 53% disagreed with Britain's deployment, a quarter agreed and the rest could not say either way.

But about two-thirds would support their child's decision to join the Army, compared to a third who said they would discourage them, the poll found.

'Important insight'

Mothers were more likely than fathers to discourage their children from joining the Army at 36% and 26% respectively.

There was more public support when it came to British territories.

The deployment to The Falklands was backed by 53% and opposed by just 11%, leaving more than a third of those polled unsure. There were similar figures for Northern Ireland.

The survey coincides with the opening of the London museum's new exhibition, Conflicts of Interest, looking at the British army's role since 1969.

Curator in the exhibits department, Mairead O'Hara, said the survey gave an "important insight" into the public's view of the role of the armed forces, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"At the museum we are offering the opportunity to debate the issues, with the new Conflicts of Interest gallery operating as a forum for discussion," she said.

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