What Americans Think About the Fight Against ISIS
A new poll by Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow Shibley Telhami dives below “approve/disapprove” numbers to offer a sophisticated picture of American public views of the campaign against ISIS and the broader conflict in Syria and Iraq. On January 8, the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at Brookings released results from this new public opinion poll focused on Americans’ attitudes toward ISIS and the United States’ strategy to defeat it. Although the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS, found broad support in Congress and amongst a broad and growing international coalition, questions remain about America’s commitment to a mission to “degrade and ultimately destroy” this terrorist movement, and about the efficacy of the current military strategy in stopping ISIS from seizing territory and massacring civilians. If Americans were moved to support this effort by the horrific televised beheadings of two U.S. citizens, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, will their support remain steady over time?
About the Poll
Among the questions this poll addresses: What drives Americans’ support for the anti-ISIS struggle? Are Americans confident that the current strategy will permanently defeat ISIS? How much importance do Americans place on this conflict relative to other regional security concerns, and how do they connect ISIS to other regional conflicts, such as that between Israelis and Palestinians? How do Americans perceive the global Muslim community’s support for ISIS’s ideology? As Congress reconvenes to consider drafting an Authorization to Use Military Force, this poll also reveals how Democrats and Republicans vary in their attitudes toward the fight against ISIS.