Stay away from Iraq, public says in new poll

Most people in the United States oppose intervening in Iraq, according to a Reuters-IPSOS Poll released Thursday.

More than half of those polled, 55 percent, said they were against intervention of any kind. Less than a quarter, 20 percent, said they support U.S. involvement.

Reuters said there was little disparity between Democrats, independents and Republicans in their overall response.  

ADVERTISEMENT
Among those who support intervention, the most popular action is for the U.S. to provide humanitarian aid to refugees. The second most popular was U.S. airstrikes to target Sunni militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Forty-five percent said the U.S. shouldn’t get involved “no matter what,” the survey found. Just over a third, however, said President Obama is setting appropriate parameters for U.S. engagement. Twenty-one percent said U.S. involvement is needed to keep the extremists from gaining more power. 

More than 60 percent of Republicans said the current situation proves the Obama administration shouldn’t have pulled U.S. forces out of Iraq in 2011. Just over a quarter of Democrats said the same.

Nearly three-quarters of Democrats, however, said the current crisis is evidence Obama made the right decision to withdraw them three years ago. Thirty-nine percent of Republicans said the same.

The survey comes the same day Obama announced he’s sending 300 military advisers to Iraq to assist Iraqi Security Forces in rooting out ISIS. The move is in addition to the 275 U.S. personnel Obama dispatched earlier this week to Baghdad to protect the U.S. Embassy there. 

Obama has appeared to take a step back for now from the option of launching airstrikes. In response, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said the president is not doing enough that his actions show he’s “underestimating the seriousness of the threat” posed by ISIS.  

The poll surveyed 1,019 people June 17–19 with a 3.5 percentage point margin of error.