Win Without War Fact Sheet on US Military Intervention in Syria

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Peace Action is a member of the Win Without War coalition. 

The American Public’s Views on U.S. Military Intervention in Syria

The American people agree with the experts and expect the worst if the U.S. launches military strikes against Syria.

  • 6 in 10 Americans (61%) say that U.S. airstrikes in Syria are likely to lead to a long-term U.S. military commitment there. [Pew Poll, 8/29/13-9/1/13]
  • 3 in 4 Americans (74%) say that U.S. airstrikes in Syria are likely to create a backlash against the U.S. and its allies in the region. [Pew Poll, 8/29/13-9/1/13]
  • 7 in 10 Americans (68%) are following the news story very closely or fairly closely. [Pew Poll, 8/29/13-9/1/13]

 Military strikes are unpopular with the American people, even when the use of chemical weapons is invoked.

  • Nearly 6 in 10 (59%) oppose the U.S. launching missile strikes against the Syrian government, even after learning that Syria used chemical weapons. [ABC News/Washington Post Poll, 8/28/13-9/1/13]

Military strikes are unpopular with the American people, especially when given other options.

  • When told that the U.S. is taking diplomatic and economic measures to try to stop the Syrian government from taking military action against its citizens, the plurality of Americans (40%) say humanitarian assistance is the best method of U.S. intervention. [NBC News Poll, 8/28-29/13]

Military strikes are unpopular with the American people, even if allies participate.

  • The majority of Americans (51%) oppose the U.S. and its allies launching missile strikes against the Syrian government even if other countries such as Great Britain and France participated. [ABC News/Washington Post Poll, 8/28/13-9/1/13]
  • Strikes against Syrian military targets with air missiles are a deeply unpopular option with our core European allies, including the United Kingdom (16% support military intervention) and France (32% support). [CNN Poll, 8/30/13]

Military strikes are expected to make the situation in Syria worse.

  • The majority of Americans (51%) say U.S. airstrikes in Syria are NOT likely to be effective in discouraging the use of chemical weapons. [Pew Poll, 8/29/13-9/1/13]
  • Only 1 in 4 Americans say military force will help improve the situation for civilians in Syria. [NBC News Poll, 8/28-29/13]

Military involvement in Syria is viewed as not in the national interest.

  • Only 1 in 5 Americans say taking military action against the Syrian government is in the United States’ national interest. [NBC News Poll, 8/28-29/13]

Note: President Obama’s announcement that he would seek Congressional authorization occurred on Saturday, August 31, 2013. This handout was updated on Sept. 4, 2013.

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