National Security Brief: Majority Of Americans Oppose U.S. Military Action In Syria

(Credit: The New York Times)

A new Gallup poll released on Friday finds that Americans don’t have much of an appetite for more U.S. military involvement in a Middle Eastern country.

Sixty-eight percent of those polled said the U.S. should not use military force to end the civil war in Syria should diplomatic efforts fail. The breakdown of that number is widely bipartisan, with 72 percent of those identifying as Democrats opposing military action, 70 percent of independents and 64 percent of Republicans.

A majority are also sure that diplomatic efforts will indeed fail, as 58 percent of those polled agreeing that the conflict in Syria cannot “be successfully solved using only economic and diplomatic efforts.”

While Gallup’s poll results track with other findings, a Pew poll released in April found that a plurality of respondents said they would support U.S. military action against Syria if there is confirmation that the regime used chemical weapons.

Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is pushing for a greater U.S. military presence in the Middle East, specifically calling on the U.S. to begin bombing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. “We should have Patriot missile batteries inside Syria protecting the rebels,” Graham told Breaking Defense this week. “We should start bombing the [Syrian government’s] airfields using cruise missiles.”

In other news:

  • The Wall Street Journal reports: The Obama administration eased restrictions on selling smartphones, laptops and computer software to Iranians, part of an effort to thwart government crackdowns and censorship by spreading tools that help organize protests.
  • The Hill reports: The Iranian-backed terror group Hezbollah is undergoing a “resurgence” on the international stage, increasingly planning and executing attacks in Syria, Europe and Africa. The group’s operations and the political and financial support for those activities coming from Tehran “have reached a tempo unseen since the 1990s,” according to the State Department’s annual terrorism report released Thursday.
  • USA Today reports: The military has launched an online chat room for troops who are victims of sexual abuse, the Pentagon announced on Thursday. The Safe HelpRoom was created based on input from callers to the Pentagon’s sexual assault victim hotline, which provides round-the-clock assistance to victims of assault.
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