Most Americans Support Syria Pullout: Poll

Bowen Xiao
By Bowen Xiao
January 14, 2019US News
Most Americans Support Syria Pullout: Poll
A picture taken on Dec. 30, 2018, shows a line of U.S. military vehicles in Syria's northern city of Manbij. (DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

New polling data shows a large majority of Americans support President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, despite some criticisms of the move from Washington.

An early January Morning Consult/Politico poll, taken weeks after Trump first announced the pullout on Dec. 19, revealed 49 percent of Americans support the withdrawal. Meanwhile, 33 percent oppose the move while 17 percent said they had no opinion or didn’t know.

The pollsters asked 1,989 registered voters if they agreed that the United States was engaged in too many military conflicts in Middle Eastern countries, such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and should prioritize getting Americans back safely. The survey was taken from Jan. 4 to Jan. 6.

It has been 4 years since the U.S.-led intervention in the Syrian civil war. Trump made the decision to withdraw, citing the defeat of ISIS and that U.S. forces no longer needed to be there. A Department of Defense spokesman confirmed on Jan. 11 that the coalition has started the withdrawal process.

Democrat Reversal

While a clear majority of Americans still oppose having Troops in Syria, the polling data also revealed Democrats having changed their opinion since Trump took office. Republicans, meanwhile, stayed largely unchanged on the issue.

The majority of recent support for keeping U.S. troops in Syria came from Democrat voters, whereas Republicans and Independents largely favored the removal of troops. This was also seen during the 2018 midterm elections when out of those who voted Democrat, only 28 percent supported the withdrawal while 54 percent opposed it.

But in the years during former President Barack Obama’s administration, polling data repeatedly showed how vast majorities of Democrats actually favored the withdrawal of troops from Middle Eastern countries such as Afghanistan. In 2008, Obama had pledged to end the war in Afghanistan and bring all the troops home.

In a June 2011 poll by the Pew Research Center two-thirds of Democrats (67%) said troops should be removed as soon as possible from Afghanistan, up from 43% the year before.

Recent reports speculated that Trump was planning to withdraw about 7,000 of the 14,000 or so U.S. troops in Afghanistan, but a White House official said no such order has been sent. In the recent Morning, Consult/Politico poll, 51 percent said they would support Trump’s decision to withdraw half the U.S. troops in Afghanistan if he made it, while 27 percent said they would oppose it.

Meanwhile, for those who voted for then-presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent supported the removal of troops from Syria while 59 percent opposed it. Trump voters again, overwhelmingly supported the withdrawal by 76 percent to 14 percent at the time.

From The Epoch Times

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