A growing number of Americans are losing faith in President Barack Obama's ability to handle foreign affairs, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll
that shows his disapproval rating up nearly 10 points since June.
The survey of 1,014 Americans conducted Sept. 19-23 found that 49 percent of respondents disapprove of foreign policy efforts while 40 percent approve.
His negative rating on dealing with foreign issues went up among all political groups, climbing eight points among Democrats, 10 among Republicans, and 13 among independents.
In addition, 52 percent of the survey respondents overall said they disapproved of how Obama handled the situation with Syria's chemical weapons specifically, and 44 percent disapproved of how he has handled diplomatic relations with Iran in recent days.
According to the Times, one survey participants described Obama as "looking very weak" on Syria and accused him of putting the country "in a dangerous situation" by threatening to use force.
The newspaper also quoted an independent respondent who said she believes the use of force is only justifiable "when it doesn't involve our own safety or security on our soil."
The survey also revealed that fewer than one in four Americans believe that relations with Iran will improve in the next few years, despite the overtures from each side this week.
Another third told survey researchers that they believe that things will actually get worse between Washington and Tehran.
Although nearly half of the respondents said they disapprove of the president's handling of foreign affairs, the poll also found that 82 percent of Americans support the joint agreement
between the United States and Russia aimed at getting Syria to turn over its chemical weapons even though most don't believe Syria will actually cooperate.
But even if Syria fails to comply with the agreement, only 34 percent, including 46 percent of Democrats surveyed, said they would be in favor of military action. Fifty-seven percent said they would be against airstrikes of any kind, while 68 percent said the U.S. has no responsibility to intervene in Syria at all. The survey also noted that 64 percent of Americans don't believe the president has done a very good job of explaining his policy on Syria.
The Times/CBS poll also revealed that more than two-thirds of respondents don't believe the chemical and biological weapons attacks on civilians in Syria deserve any more of response than the deaths caused by conventional weapons.
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