Poll: Americans want more action against ISIS, but oppose ground troops

Poll: Americans want more action against ISIS, but oppose ground troops
© Getty Images

A majority of Americans want the U.S. to intensify its military campaign on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria following attacks in Paris, but remain opposed to sending troops, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll. 

The poll found that 63 percent of Americans were fearful of that a Paris-style attack could happen at home, and 60 percent of Americans think the U.S. should be doing more to attack ISIS.  

ADVERTISEMENT

Yet, those polled overwhelmingly opposed sending troops to the region. Sixty-five percent oppose sending special forces to the region, and an even greater number — 76 percent — oppose sending conventional ground troops. 

The poll comes as lawmakers, experts and presidential candidates debate the next best steps to take in the war against ISIS.  

On Monday, the Pentagon announced it was increasing intelligence sharing with France, which would allow France more control over choosing targets in the air war against ISIS. 

However, lawmakers are calling on the White House to do more, including putting more boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria against ISIS. 

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainClimate change is a GOP issue, too It's Joe Biden's 2020 presidential nomination to lose Meghan McCain on Pelosi-Trump feud: 'Put this crap aside' and 'work together for America' MORE (R-Ariz.) and senior committee member Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump declassification move unnerves Democrats Climate change is a GOP issue, too New Yorker cover titled 'The Shining' shows Graham, McConnell, Barr polishing Trump's shoes MORE, a presidential contender, called for American boots on the ground to fight ISIS with a regional ground force. 

Some Democrats, such as Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFive takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Senate Democrats to House: Tamp down the impeachment talk Feinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report MORE (Calif.) and Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffFive takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Trump declassification move unnerves Democrats Trump appeals order siding with House Democrats bank subpoenas MORE (Calif.), vice chairmen of the Intelligence committees, are also calling for stronger measures against ISIS. 

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, another 2016 Republican presidential contender, also called on Monday for boots on the ground. 

The new poll showed there was also a rising concern about terrorism. 

Seventeen percent of those polled said terrorism was their top concern — compared to only 9 percent in October. Terrorism was tied with the economy as the top issue.  

The poll also found that 52 percent of Americans think nations that accept refugees fleeing from Syria are less safe.

However, the poll respondents were divided over whether they should stop accepting refugees. Forty percent said countries accepting them should continue to do so, but 41 percent said they should stop due to the threat of terrorism. 

A Syrian passport found near the body of one of the Paris attackers showed that its holder passed through Greece from Syria last month, along with a wave of migrants escaping the war-torn nation. 

Almost a dozen governors on Monday announced they would not accept Syrian refugees into their states, and a slew of lawmarkers also announced they would introduce legislation to prevent it from happening.

The State Department on Monday said it still planned to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees within the next year. Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee have called on Congress to block that plan.