More Americans Have Supported Syrian Air Strikes Than Opposed

Forty-nine percent of Americans back strikes by cruise missiles and drones that don't risk U.S. lives, the Quinnipiac poll found, with 38 percent opposed

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Ammar Abdullah/REUTERS

Free Syrian Army fighters deploy in Aleppo's town of Khanasir after seizing it August 26, 2013.

Correction Appended, Aug. 27 12:01 p.m.

A plurality of Americans supported potential air strikes on Syrian government installations in a poll this summer by Quinnipiac University.

Forty-nine percent of Americans backed strikes by cruise missiles and drones that don’t risk U.S. lives, the poll found, with 38 percent opposed. The poll, which was conducted in late June and early July, did not ask whether Americans would support manned air strikes.

But majorities of Americans say it is not in the interest of the United States to involve itself in the Syrian conflict and are opposed to providing military aid to the Syrian opposition.

Dissatisfaction with his foreign policy performance is dragging down President Barack Obama’s approval rating, the poll found. Only 40% approve of his handling of foreign policy, with 52 percent disapproving, while his overall approval rating is underwater at 44%.

The polling highlights the narrow path of options available to Obama, who has ruled out American boots on the ground in Syria, even as his administration is pledging to hold the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accountable for the use of chemical weapons.

Administration officials say Obama has yet to reach a decision on the appropriate response to the attack, but the White House is consulting with congressional lawmakers in preparation for a decision.

Younger Americans were slightly more hawkish on Syria, while political independents are the most dovish on engaging in the conflict.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 2,014 registered voters from June 28 – July 8 with a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points.

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that this poll had been conducted after the most recent reports of chemical weapons attacks in Syria. It has been corrected.

101 comments
JakKovacik
JakKovacik

US dont seem to care about the syrian ppl, to date 1million iraqi's dead thanks to the illegal 03 invasion.  Unibet

Calman
Calman

Lies, Pure Lies, You lie time magazine report. Cowards. Do actual reporting instead of bending over. You lie.

jackieflynn6
jackieflynn6

As usual TIME magazine is slobbering all over Obama on his latest decision to bomb his muslim brotherhood friends.  Isn't it Interesting how he is providing a date and time for them to be out of town!   I'm with the UK for walking away from this one.  

anti-government
anti-government

It;s too bad Americans aren't concerned about Syrian lives. Every time we have a "surgical strike", it just reminds us that the generals always overestimate the accuracy of their bombs and missiles. By bombing Syria, we would be killing Syrian civilians. We would be terrorists, using weapons to kill civilians for political purposes.

Doesn't it bother anyone in America that we have killed far more civilians with bombs than all the other countries and "terrorist organizations" in world history combined? In just four days, in Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, our fire bombs and A bombs killed more than half a million civilians. No other country in the world has ever killed civilians so fast. At Auschwitz, the Nazis could kill about 5000 civilians per day. We are much more effective killers of children than the Nazis. The world has far more to fear from US efforts at world hegemony than it has to fear from the ophthalmologist-dictator, Bashir al-Assad. We have far more WMDs (and even far more chemical weapons) than the Syrians. We push people around all over the world. To paraphrase Pogo: "We have met the terrorists, and they are US".

wolfplex
wolfplex

This site is wrong!!!! Americans do not want to get involved in this war. It's not our fight!! The United States are NOT the world police!! Let's not forget that these people were cheering and dancing in the streets when 9/11 happened to us!!

RonSmith1
RonSmith1

Why isn't this article titled, "Its Not in the Interest of the United States to Involve Itself in the Syrian Conflict, Majority of Americans Say"? Since this is what the poll states (Q 52), I think this proves the Title Question (51) was misunderstood or designed intentionally to get a more favorable response. How can one favor US drone attacks on Syria while opposing any US involvement in the Syrian conflict? This makes zero sense.

The question in question: "51. Do you think the United States should or should not use weapons which don't risk American lives, such as drones and cruise missiles, to attack Syrian government targets?"

Two points of note in how this is worded. 1. The phrase, "which don't risk American lives" is leading. Who wants to risk American lives? 2. Syria isn't even mentioned until the end of the question.

I wonder what the results of a more simple straight forward question would have been: "Do you support a US air strike on Syrian government targets?" My guess is that the results would be less favorable.

ubaidahmadzai
ubaidahmadzai

@TIME want peace for own and strike others is a crime. Note: every action has a reaction. Is there any wise man in the west to understand?

bugeye58
bugeye58

@jenanmoussa @akhbar Count me among the minority. This poll was run in June. I wonder what the numbers are now? As an American, I'm against!

hispeedtourist
hispeedtourist

@Joyce_Karam Quinn poll was conducted June/July? Also, strong priming in question wording: specifying tactics that "don't risk U.S. lives"

spot60spot
spot60spot

@TIME @TIMEPolitics Americans have been brainwashed into believing there is no consequence to them for America's overseas actions.

jrhowe85
jrhowe85

@TIME @TIMEPolitics and then an aircraft will be shot down by Russian missiles and before you know it more soldiers are dying

ethics13
ethics13

@jenanmoussa @akhbar the opposition to this is MUCH higher in urban cities--the more educated. This is a huge mistake for the US, HUGE.

WillFarinholt
WillFarinholt

@MarieRivera07 @TIME @TIMEPolitics @rogneidheath No!  Read the actually statistic cited.  This "journalist" warped the headline to make it seem like there is ANY support for this war.  The question that the headline actually eludes to was "If america attacks Syria, would you support a operations that endanger military lives, or without endangering military lives".  Only A or B.  So he took that and make some BS title that made it seem like there is popular support.  Do not fall for it!  

anti-government
anti-government

@spot60spot @TIME @TIMEPolitics 

Unfortunately, some the consequences of American foreign bullying are retaliatory actions such as the 9/11 attacks.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@robsatloff

No it doesn't.  It underscores the difference in scenarios.  9% support invasion, 49% support unmanned air strikes

operationlibyia
operationlibyia

@jenanmoussa in all honesty we don't envy any country making a decision about this damned if u do damned if u don't.