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28% Say Libya Important To U.S. National Security, 42% Disagree

While the Obama administration presses on with the military mission in Libya, few voters view the North African country as important to America’s own security.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 28% of Likely U.S. Voters think Libya is a vital national security interest for the United States these days. Forty-two percent (42%) disagree and say Libya is not important to U.S. national security, while a sizable 29% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

A plurality (45%) also thinks the United States should not get involved in conflicts like Libya for humanitarian reasons when the situation does not directly threaten this country. But 35% feel the United States should get involved in conflicts for humanitarian reasons even when there is no direct national security interest at stake. Twenty percent (20%) are undecided.

Forty-five percent (45%) of Likely Voters support President Obama’s decision to use the U.S. military to help rebels in Libya, but slightly more (47%) think the president should have gotten Congress’ approval first.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 22-23, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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