How Do Americans Think ISIS Should Be Dealt With? New Poll Says A Lot's Changed In One Month
Over the last few weeks, the U.S.-led international coalition to combat ISIS has rained missiles over Syria and Iraq, slowing their advance toward establishing a caliphate in the regions. Just this week, the U.S. increased the number of airstrikes in Syria to an unprecedented amount. While officials say it's too early to make a full assessment of their overall success, Americans are voicing their opinion that airstrikes are not enough. A new survey showed that more Americans want combat troops on the ground in Iraq and Syria now than they did last month, when more citizens felt airstrikes alone were sufficient.
The poll comes amid ISIS' recent advancements in the Syrian city of Kobani and an Iraqi military base in Anbar province. Lying along the border of Turkey, Kobani is a strategic city in Syria and encompasses three official border crossings into the neighboring country. On Tuesday, the Pentagon issued a statement reporting that the coalition had launched 22 airstrikes in or around Kobani, which is the highest number of airstrikes since the beginning of the air campaign in Syria.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, images of the Kurdish YPG soldiers planting their flag where the black ISIS flag once flew began circulating, validating reports that they had reclaimed Tel Shair hill and other areas in Kobani. The Kurdish resistance fighters are a major component of Obama's ground strategy in the fight against ISIS, which he and other U.S. officials have said from the beginning would not involve American troops on the ground.
Now, a new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal survey reveals that Americans might be more willing to send our troops overseas even if the administration is not. After all, despite the coalition's progress in Syria, ISIS has closed in on one of Iraq's largest air bases in Anbar province, where they plan on launching an attack on Ein Al-Assad military airbase. So, does more need to be done?
Is Military Action in Our Best Interests?
According to the poll, a large majority of Americans agree that military action against ISIS is in our nation's best interest, 61 percent to be exact. A meager 16 percent said that it was not in our best interest, while 22 percent answered that they did not know enough about the situation to have an opinion, and one percent was "not sure."
Should Ground Troops Be Added on Top of the Air Campaign?
When asked whether the military strategy should be limited to airstrikes or include both airstrikes and ground troops, 41 percent answered both airstrikes and ground troops while only 35 percent were in favor of just an air campaign. Just one month ago, the numbers were almost an exact reversal with 40 percent voting in favor of just airstrikes and 34 percent wanting both air and ground attacks. Fifteen percent answered that military action shouldn't be taken at all and nine percent answered "not sure."
How Is Obama Doing Overall?
So how do Americans feel about Obama's strategy against ISIS overall? Not too great, it was revealed. Fifty-five percent disapproved of his overall handling of the situation while only 37 percent approved. Eight percent answered "not sure."