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Tuesday, October 06, 2015

What America Thinks: The Enemy of Our Enemy Is Not Our Friend

The situation in Syria has gotten a lot more complicated in recent days with Russia and Iran committing military forces to the ongoing civil war there to help their ally, embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and to fight the growing presence of the radical Islamic group ISIS. President Obama isn’t happy since he wants to see Assad and ISIS both gone. Meanwhile, the chaos in Syria is triggering a refugee crisis that is overwhelming Europe and sending at least 100,000 Middle Easterners to our shores. Where do Americans and voters stand on this? We decided to find out what America thinks.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of Likely U.S. Voters see both Syria and Russia as vital national security interests for America, but that compares to 68% who say ISIS is a Very Serious threat to this country. Sixty-six percent (66%) did back Obama’s plan to expand airstrikes against ISIS in Syria last year, but voters aren’t happy with the way the president has been fighting ISIS since then.

Still, only 35% now think the United States should get more involved in the situation in Syria. However, few voters are thrilled by Obama’s decision to take in thousands of Middle Eastern refugees and have serious national security concerns about those newcomers. After all, Americans are already nervous about the threat of Islamic terrorism here at home.

Yet even as Russia steps up its military efforts to bring the Syrian civil war to a close, just 11% of U.S. voters think the former Soviet Union is our ally in the fight against ISIS, while 24% view it as an enemy instead.

As for Iran, which is joining its ally Russia in sending military forces to Syria, 62% of Americans still consider it an enemy.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.