A majority of Americans oppose their government and its allies arming and assisting rebel forces in Syria, believing the U.S. military is already stretched thin and that the opposition forces it would support may be no better than the incumbent.
According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, 70 percent of Americans are against the U.S. sending arms and military supplies to Syria’s opposition forces that are fighting against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Only 20 percent support this move.
The White House told the media last week that the administration will aid rebel forces after finding “credible evidence” Assad used chemical weapons against opposing forces.
More than two thirds of Americans (68 percent) believe the U.S. government is too overcommitted to getting involved in another conflict, while 60 percent of those polled say the rebels may be no better than the present government. Despite this overwhelming opposition to getting involved, 53 percent of Americans agree that it’s important for Americans to support those who fight authoritarian rule. Only 36 percent agree with that argument.
The majority consensus on opposition also stretches across the party line: 66 percent Democrats, 71 percent Republicans and 74 percent of independents, according to the Pew poll of 1,512 adults between Wednesday and Sunday.
Not too many Americans are paying attention to the developments in Syria. In a different poll last week, only 15 percent said they were up-to-date on the news that chemical weapons were used against the rebel groups.