While the world waits to see if the U.S. will proceed with a military strike on Syria, Americans seem to be wavering in their support for an aggressive response — even after the likely use of chemical weapons by Syria’s embattled President Bashar Assad.
Polls show large majorities of Americans, weary of more than a decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, strongly oppose a U.S. military mission in Syria.
A Reuters-Ipsos poll last week found about 60 percent of Americans are against U.S. intervention in Syria, while just 9 percent support it.
More Americans favor intervention if Syria has used chemical weapons, but even that support has dipped as the situation in Syria has deteriorated, according to the poll.
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However, U.S. military action typically sparks a surge of at least short-term support for their president's actions, as Americans rally around the troops.
"My prediction would be that public opinion would swing very quickly to support the military action in Syria," said Ipsos pollster Julia Clark. "The danger for Obama is if it becomes more prolonged."
A Christian Monitor/TIPP pol
l from August 24-28 found that 38 percent of respondents rated the president’s handling of the Syrian crisis as “poor” or “unacceptable,” while 22 percent rated his handling of the situation as “excellent” or “good.”
The poll also found that respondents opposed U.S. military involvement by a margin of 52 to 39 percent.
Pew Pollster Andy Kohut told Politico
that American voters are less likely to favor military action abroad.
“Internationalism is at a low point and people are very wary of American involvement — particularly American military involvement — in that part of the world,” he explained. “What we have seen with Syria, we have seen with Libya, and we have seen more generally with respect to the Arab Spring.”
Reuters contributed to this report.
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