Majority of Americans support sending ground troops to fight ISIS
According to a terrifying poll from research firm YouGov, 53% of Americans would support sending ground troops to fight ISIS. 69% of Republicans and 44% of Democrats believe in sending ground troops to ISIS-controlled territory in the Middle East.
It gets worse: 51% of those polled don’t believe that airstrikes alone would be effective in fighting ISIS, and that’s why they would support sending ground troops. 58% of those polled believe that ISIS poses an immediate and serious threat to the United States. Additionally, half of Republicans believe that Christians have been the primary victims of ISIS’s campaign, while only 28% believe that Muslims have been. Nearly two-thirds of American Republicans don’t know any Muslims, according to the poll.
These numbers illustrate the disconnect between the fear of ISIS and the threat that ISIS actually poses to the American public. “What ISIS Really Wants,” Graeme Wood’s extensive feature on ISIS in this month’s Atlantic, argues that ISIS’s extreme, restrictive ideology will cause it to burn out before it becomes a nascent threat to the United States. ISIS is more concerned with rooting out apostasy and securing the areas it controls in Iraq and Syria and expanding the caliphate in its immediate vicinity than attacking the United States.
US troops completed withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 after a nearly decade-long war. 4,491 American troops and an estimated 35,000 Iraqis died. Adding more numbers to the death toll due to a misunderstood enemy would be costly and unneccessary.
Full results of the poll can be found here.