Almost half of Americans support ground troops to fight ISIS

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More Americans are willing to send U.S. combat troops to the Middle East to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to a new AP/GfK poll.

{mosads}Forty-two percent of Americans favor deploying troops to fight ISIS, up from 31 percent in a poll conducted early this year. Thirty-two percent oppose sending troops, while 22 percent were undecided.

Seventy-four percent of respondents said they think it is likely the U.S. will deploy ground troops, including 43 percent who said it was “moderately likely,” and 31 percent who said it was “extremely/very likely.”

Respondents were not asked about the number of troops. The Obama administration announced weeks ago that up to 50 special forces would be deployed to Syria.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter also announced a new military unit would be set up to send special forces to Iraq, with reports indicating it would include 200 service members.

President Obama on Monday said that U.S. forces have accelerated their pace of airstrikes against ISIS, noting that 9,000 had been carried out against the network.

“We are hitting ISIL harder than ever,” Obama said, using another acronym for ISIS.

Most Americans favor airstrikes against ISIS, with 68 percent supporting the strikes, compared to 11 percent who oppose them.

Still, a majority of those surveyed in the new poll, 56 percent, said that the U.S. has “not gone far enough” in the fight against ISIS, while 29 percent said it’s “been about right” and 12 percent said the U.S. has “gone too far.”

Terrorism has been a major focus since the Paris terrorist attacks last month and the deadly shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., earlier this month.

Those high-profile terror attacks have stoked fears, with a full 70 percent of respondents in the AP poll saying they think there is an extremely or very high chance of a terrorist attack happening in the U.S.

The survey of 1,007 adults was conducted from Dec. 3 to Dec. 7 online with a margin of error of 3.4 points.


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