Most Americans do not want to see ground troops deployed to fight the Islamic State in the Middle East, according to a new poll from the Brookings Institution.
Despite 70 percent of respondents flagging the terror group as the biggest threat in the region, 57 percent of Americans don't want to see U.S. ground troops engaged in combat against the group should airstrikes fail. The reluctance to engage in a ground war against ISIS is predominately felt among Democrats and independents. Brookings found that 53 percent of Republicans would turn to U.S. troops if air strikes fail.
A good reason for American trepidation is a wide-spread belief that U.S .forces would be unable to deal a lasting blow to the Islamic State. Only 20 percent of those polled said the U.S. can defeat ISIS and "ensure they will not return." The majority (56 percent) told Brookings that, much like the Taliban in Afghanistan, the U.S. could defeat ISIS but only temporarily.
Brookings also found a somewhat schizophrenic U.S. view toward Syria and the Assad regime. While 70 percent said Assad was "as bad as ISIS" and that the war in Syria could not end with Assad still in power, 60 percent also said that the U.S. should not fight Assad's army and instead let Assad fight ISIS.