Tags: Iran | War on Terrorism | Republicans | ISIS | foreign involvement | war

Poll: Republicans More Weary of War Than Democrats

By    |   Monday, 15 September 2014 11:56 AM

There's more dove than hawk in Republicans these days than anyone has suspected.

A Chicago Council on Global Affairs (CCGA) poll found that Republicans are now more likely than Democrats to oppose American involvement in foreign affairs, by a margin of 40 percent to 35 percent.

Former NATO ambassador and CCGA president Ivo Daalder told MSNBC, "Republicans and Democrats today have about the same view when it comes to the real big question that we've been asking for 40 years, which is whether or not the US should have an active role in world affairs. Republican views have really changed over the last eight years.

"Twenty percent of Republicans in 2006 thought the US should stay out of world affairs. That has now doubled to 40 percent."

Americans generally are still not isolationist and want the US to continue projecting leadership abroad, by 58 percent, and 83 percent believe the U.S. should keep a strong world leadership role. But Americans' sense of what that involves is more toward sanctions, by 65 percent, and diplomatic engagement than in asserting military power, the CCGA survey notes.

Even as President Barack Obama is urging Congress to support Syrian rebels in the battle against the Islamic State (ISIS), only 17 percent of Americans support sending U.S. troops to Syria and just 25 percent support arming Syrian rebels, while 70 percent oppose it. Only 30 percent would support U.S. military involvement in the Russian invasion of the Ukraine.

"This growing desire among Americans to 'stay out' of world affairs is linked to increased criticism of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a decreased sense of threat, a long-standing desire to focus on domestic problems and an increased divide among Republicans on this question," the survey states.

Americans, however, would support military involvement to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power, at 69 percent, and 56 percent support using U.S. troops to attack terrorist camps, while 71 percent would use U.S. troops to stop genocide.

Americans consider a massive cyberattack on the United States to be the biggest threat, at 69 percent, while only 60 percent see global terrorism as the country's major threat, which is a major drop from 90 percent right after 9/11.

"Most important is the collapse in Republican opinion with regard to the Iraq and particularly the Afghan war," Daalder told MSNBC. "In 2007, 85 percent of Republicans thought the Afghanistan war was still worth the cost. That is now down to the mid-20s, and it's similar with Iraq. About 70 percent of Republicans thought the war was worth it in 2007. It's now down to 40 percent.

"You see a disillusionment, particularly in the Republican Party, with these two wars, which is translating into war weariness. Republicans are now becoming where Democrats have been for a long time, and indeed where independents are. They are more skeptical about the use of force, particularly when it comes to large ground forces, to deal with problems in the world.

"They're just not at gung-ho as they used to be and they're more like the average American."

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A Chicago Council on Global Affairs poll found that Republicans are now more likely than Democrats to oppose American involvement in foreign affairs.
Republicans, ISIS, foreign involvement, war
Monday, 15 September 2014 11:56 AM
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