Americans evenly divided over sending troops to fight ISIS

The majority of Americans do not believe that President Obama has a clear plan to fight against ISIS, a recent poll shows.

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Even two months after launching U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq, the majority of Americans still do not believe that President Obama has a strategy for handling the militant terrorist group. In a recent poll conducted, as much as sixty-one percent of Americans do not think he has a clear plan. In contrast, only 29 percent think he does, down seven points from earlier this month.

Although the vast majority of Americans (seventy-one percent) support U.S. airstrikes against ISIS, the public has a generally negative perception on how the fight against the group is going. Over half of American (fifty-seven percent) say that the fight is going somewhat or very badly and only about a third say it is going well, including just three percent who say the fight is going very well.

Americans are now split on whether the U.S. should send ground troops into Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS. The percentage that favors ground troops (47 percent) has been inching up since September.

Most Republicans support using U.S. ground troops, while most Democrats, and half of independents, are opposed. Still, most Americans do think ground forces will ultimately be necessary to remove the threat from ISIS. Sixty-four percent say U.S. ground troops will be needed, while just one in five thinks airstrikes alone will work.

A vast majority of Americans–85 percent–express at least some concern that U.S. intervention in Iraq and Syria will lead to a long and costly involvement there, including 48 percent who are very concerned. Most Americans continue to view ISIS as a major threat to the security of the United States, with 58 percent saying it is a major threat, while another 21 percent say ISIS is a minor threat. Just 15 percent say ISIS is not a threat to the U.S. at all.

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