Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | U.S. airstrikes | ISIS | Iraq | Syria

CNN Poll: Americans Support Airstrikes on ISIS, Not Boots on the Ground

By    |   Monday, 29 Sep 2014 10:15 AM

Americans are supporting a U.S.-led coalition's airstrikes against Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Iraq and Syria, a new CNN/ORC International poll shows, but still remain strongly opposed to sending ground troops in to fight the insurgent group.

The poll, released on Monday, shows that fewer than four out of 10 Americans favor sending in ground troops, although they believe that boots on the ground is inevitable, CNN reports.

Just 24 percent of the poll's respondents believe ground troops won't be sent in, with 36 percent saying the troops are likely and another 39 percent who believe it is somewhat likely.

President Barack Obama has continued to state that ground troops will not be sent to fight ISIS, but a growing number of lawmakers and military experts do not believe ISIS can be stopped through airstrikes alone, including House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that "somebody's boots have to be there."

He said he would be willing to call the House back into session to hold a vote to authorize ground troops if Obama sends Congress a request. He denied reports that he warned the White House not to make the request because a vote now would splinter both parties and might not pass.

"We have no choice," he said. "These are barbarians. They intend to kill us. And if we don't destroy them first we're going to pay the price."

He added that the United States might have "no choice" but to put U.S. soldiers on the ground.

Obama, however, on CBS' "60 Minutes," emphasized that U.S. troops will not be on the ground, and that the matter is a political problem that Syrian and Iraqi leaders need to address, not a military problem.

Further, he said, the battle is not "America against ISIL. This is America leading the international community to assist a country with whom we have a security partnership with, to make sure that they — are able to take care of their business."

But while Americans back the airstrikes, they remaining cautious about the role of the United States in them. According to the CNN poll, 73 percent of Americans back the airstrikes being done as part of a coalition, but that number drops to 50 percent if the United States acted alone.

Further, just 42 percent of Americans favor arming the Free Syrian Army as part of fighting ISIS, reports CNN, although 45 percent of those polled find ISIS a "very serious" threat to the United States; with 23 percent saying ISIS is a "fairly serious" threat, and 23 percent calling ISIS a "somewhat serious" threat.

Americans seem somewhat confident in Obama's ability to address the crisis, according to the poll. Just after his prime time address announcing the airstrikes, a CNN/ORC poll showed that 37 percent approved of how he was handling ISIS, but the number went up to 45 percent in the most recent poll. Further, 46 percent of Americans say they approve of how he handles terrorism overall.

CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said that just 40 percent of Americans believe the United States is at war with ISIS, showing why the president's overall job rating hasn't shown a "rally effect" that presidents normally experience during times of war.

ORC International interviewed 1,055 adult Americans for the poll by telephone between Sept. 25-28, with a sampling error of +/-3 percentage points.

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Americans are supporting a U.S.-led coalition's airstrikes against Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Iraq and Syria, a new CNN/ORC International poll shows, but still remain strongly opposed to sending ground troops in to fight the insurgent group.
U.S. airstrikes, ISIS, Iraq, Syria
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2014-15-29
Monday, 29 Sep 2014 10:15 AM
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