A CNN/ORC poll released on September 29 indicates that 60 percent of Americans oppose putting U.S. “boots on the ground” in Iraq and Syria to fight the ISIS forces. However, despite their opposition to sending in ground troops, 73 percent of those polled favored the military air strikes being conducted by the United States and its Western European and Arab allies.
Even though most respondents oppose sending in ground troops, they are not optimistic about our prospects of avoiding this scenario. Seventy-five percent think it is either “very likely” (36 percent) or “somewhat likely” (39 percent) that the United States “will eventually send ground troops into combat operations against ISIS forces in Iraq or Syria.”
Respondents were more optimistic that the U.S. effort to destroy the military ability of ISIS forces will succeed, with 61 percent saying they were either “very confident” (19 percent) or “somewhat confident” (42 percent).
An overwhelming majority of those polled expressed concern over the U.S. response to ISIS, with a majority of 51 percent being “very concerned” and another 34 percent saying they were “somewhat concerned.”
Respondents were also aware of the potential for “blowback” (the unintended results of American actions abroad) when they answered whether or not they thought that the military action against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria has made terrorist attacks in the United States more likely, less likely, or has made no difference.
Forty-five percent think that our intervention has made terrorist attacks in our country more likely, twelve percent think it has made such attacks less likely, and 42 percent think it has made no difference.
A majority of respondents (65 percent) also said that they are worried that the military action against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria will develop into a larger war that might spread throughout the Middle East and even other parts of the world. Nineteen percent said they are “very worried” about this possibility and another 46 percent are “somewhat worried.”
Perhaps because they are aware that U.S. arming of the anti-Assad rebels in Syria resulted in arms falling into the wrong hands, and that ISIS forces were actually allied with some of those rebels, 54 percent said they are opposed to providing weapons and military training “to some rebels in Syria who are fighting ISIS forces in Syria.” Forty-two percent were in favor of providing weapons to rebels.
While the CNN poll did reflect a certain degree of reluctance on the part of the American public to intervene in Iraq and Syria (especially when it comes to committing ground troops), the overall understanding is certainly lacking since the air strikes not only are a form of military intervention but entail boots on the ground, despite President Obama’s claim that this would not happen. In an interview with The New American, Art Thompson, the CEO of The John Birch Society (the parent organization of TNA), explained:
Recent history demonstrates that what is presented to the American people by the administration is not what is planned down the road. Polls may indicate that the majority of Americans are opposed to boots on the ground, but what the administration rarely points out is that it takes boots on the ground just to use the so-called smart bombs launched from our aircraft. As bombing increases, so will the boots on the ground.
Anyone who understands modern warfare, understands that bombs do not occupy territory. If the average American understood this, the polls might be different relative to what bombing means to actually winning — and whatever winning means today because that is still in a state of flux. There are too many unknowns.
The John Birch Society opposes the undeclared, unconstitutional U.S. military intervention in the Middle East.