A majority of Americans think that President Barack Obama has totally bungled the fight against the Islamic State.
In a new Associated Press-GfK poll, 60 percent of Americans stated that they disapproved of Obama’s handling of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and also displayed pessimism about prospects for success in Afghanistan, The Associated Press reports.
The latest poll results are the continuation of a consistent downward slump since the effort first coalesced in late 2014. When polls initially started surveying to determine views of the Obama administration on ISIS, Americans seemed equally split. But since January, disapproval has jumped by 8 percentage points.
Obama’s dismal polling results on ISIS mirror concerns with his overall approach to foreign policy, of which only 40 percent of Americans approve.
This failure to commit seriously seems the source of Americans’ misgivings regarding the Obama administration. The Pentagon and White House have botched messaging about the conflict, with the White House insisting that troops are not in combat in Iraq, and the Pentagon saying the exact opposite. (RELATED: Obama: There Will Be No Combat In Iraq. Generals: We’re In Combat)
With some effort, the two sides managed to rein in their messaging and erect a distinction between ‘combat’ and ‘combat mission,’ but as far as the American public is concerned, the damage has already been done.
The Obama administration has also been pilloried for lacking a consistent strategy in the Middle East. Russia, in the meantime, has aggressively moved in to Syria while the U.S. sits largely on the sidelines, preferring to strike against ISIS with airstrikes. U.S. security officials have recently admitted that Russian forces in Syria have grown to 4,000 troops. The U.S. has complained about Russian activity in Syria, but complaints have fallen on deaf ears. Russia seems dead-set on intervening in the civil war, which has wreaked havoc on the country for nearly four-and-a-half years.
What’s noteworthy is that the poll was conducted before the announcement last week that just 50 U.S. special forces will head to northern Syria.
The poll included a sample of 1,027 adults with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.
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