Poll shows Americans favor military action against Islamic State by 4-1
A survey conducted by YouGov.com showed that by a 4-1 margin, Americans favor military strikes against Islamic State.
The poll's results are the opposite of a similar survey taken earlier this year regarding military action against President Bashar Assad's forces in Syria.
Some 63 percent of Americans back a Pentagon strike against the terrorists to 16 percent who don’t. A year ago, those numbers were reversed when Americans were asked about striking Syrian troops commanded by President Bashar Assad, with 60 percent opposing military action and 20 percent supporting it.
The flip-flop comes as television news is filled with stories of horrific murders of those captured by ISIS, and reports of American airstrikes against the militants.
It also comes as Obama fights with his national security team and Hill Democrats calling for action. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, today backed military action while on "Meet the Press."
The YouGov poll revealed a rare change of heart for Americans, many war-weary with the U.S. actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
What’s more, the support for military action was spread among political opposites. Some 60 percent of Democrats, 60 percent of independents and 76 percent of Republicans support military action against the terrorists.
Said the poll analysis:
The latest research from YouGov shows that attitudes towards the use of military force in Syria have changed significantly over the past year. In September 2013, when a deal to disarm Syria's chemical weapons was agreed, 62% of Americans opposed the use of military force while only 20% supported it. Today when asked whether they support the use of military force against ISIS militants in Syria, the situation is reversed. 63% of Americans now support the use of military force in Syria, compared to only 16% who oppose it...
Support for military action has increased significantly despite the fact that expectations of deeper US involvement remain the same. In research conducted at the beginning of September 2013 when the US was considering launching air strikes against Syria, 45% of Americans said that strikes would be the first step towards having US troops in Syria. 31% expected any potential campaign to be limited to air strikes. Today Americans still tend to expect any air strikes in Syria to lead to a US military presence, with 40% saying it would be a first step and 31% saying that action would be limited to air strikes.
A poll asking whether we should send combat troops to Iraq or Syria to fight IS would no doubt tell a different story. Americans remain leery of getting too deeply involved in the endless wars of the Middle East, although you would imagine if IS carries out a terrorist attack on US soil, that sentiment would change dramatically.
The question isn't whether the American people support action against IS, the question is whether Barack Obama does. The limited strikes in Iraq aren't enough to defeat, much less roll back the gains the terrorists have made in the last few months. There have been local successes, but overall, IS is still advancing toward Baghdad and the Iraqis seem unable to organize themselves well enouigh to stop them.
A change in the mission should be forthcoming, but you wonder about this president. He may try to confront IS on the cheap, and then, if things go south, he can always say he tried his best.
This would be in keeping with his mantra of "Don't do stupid stuff" which should be changed to "Don't do any more stuff than you absolutely have to."