74% of Americans oppose sending U.S. troops to Iraq: poll

But more voters favor U.S. airstrikes than oppose them

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
Yahoo News
An Iraqi army soldier searches a volunteer outside the main recruiting center in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, June 17, 2014, after authorities urged Iraqis to help battle insurgents. Hundreds of young Iraqi men gripped by religious and nationalistic fervor streamed into volunteer centers across Baghdad Saturday, answering a call by the country's top Shiite cleric to join the fight against Sunni militants advancing in the north. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)
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Nearly three out of four Americans oppose the United States sending combat troops to Iraq to fight the al-Qaida-inspired insurgency, a new poll commissioned by a liberal group finds.

According to results of the automated survey released Tuesday by Public Policy Polling, 74 percent of American voters oppose sending U.S. troops in response to the crisis in Iraq, while just 16 percent support such a move.

Those figures are roughly the same as they were in 2011, when a Gallup poll conducted after President Barack Obama announced the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq found that 75 percent supported the decision to leave, while 21 percent opposed it.

According to the new poll, conducted June 14-15 for Americans United for Change, Democrats (82 percent) and independents (86 percent) overwhelmingly oppose sending U.S. troops to Iraq. Just 10 percent of Democrats say they would support sending troops to the region; among independents, that figure is 9 percent.

Among Republicans, 28 percent say they would support sending troops to Iraq, while 57 percent oppose the idea.

The release of the poll "is a sign lefty groups are gearing up to oppose any re-engagement," the Washington Post's Greg Sargent writes, "which means winning the argument with Republicans such as John McCain over not just what to do now, but over the broader meaning and legacy of the Iraq War."

On Friday, President Obama announced that he would not send combat troops into Iraq. But on Monday, Obama notified Congress that up to 275 troops could be sent to Iraq to provide security for U.S. personnel in Baghdad. The Associated Press reported that the United States is "considering sending an additional contingent of special forces" to the region "even as the White House insists anew that America will not be dragged into another war."

And in an interview with Yahoo News' Katie Couric, Secretary of State John Kerry said Obama was giving "a very thorough vetting of every option that is available," including airstrikes, and underlined that "we are deeply committed to the integrity of Iraq as a country."

PPP did not ask voters whether they would support U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. But according to a national telephone survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports on June 12-13, 46 percent of likely U.S. voters favor military airstrikes, while 32 percent oppose such action. Twenty-two percent said they are not sure.

In January, a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that a majority of Americans (52 percent) believe the United States "has mostly failed to achieve its goals" in Iraq, while 37 percent said it has "mostly succeeded."

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