A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg poll finds that, despite President Barack Obama’s promises to the contrary, 72% of Americans believe the United States will end up using combat troops in the war against the Islamic State (ISIS).
Americans were divided in whether they favored putting boots on the ground, with 37% opposed and 45% backing the move should military commanders deem it necessary to defeat Islamic State terrorists.
Given the clarity of Obama’s promise not to launch a ground war–“As your commander-in-chief, I will not commit you and the rest of our Armed Forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq”–the poll raises questions about whether the nation has begun discounting Obama’s rhetoric altogether. Indeed, just 20% of poll respondents said the U.S. won’t commit ground forces.
“At the end of the day, I think it’s going to take more than airstrikes to drive them [Islamic State] out of there,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said on Sunday. “At some point, somebody’s boots have to be on the ground.” When asked if the boots must be American, Boehner responded, “We have no choice.”
Some, like Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), are quick to point out that America already has boots on the ground.
“The President is just flat not telling the truth,” Inhofe told CNN. “We already have boots on the ground there.”
Inhofe added, “You don’t win a war by not fighting.”
According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, just 35% of Americans approve of Obama’s foreign policy.