According to a new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill, a slim majority of surveyed U.S. voters support President Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria and limit the country’s military presence in Afghanistan.
Fifty-two percent of those surveyed stated they back the president’s decision, which shocked the nation when it was announced. Forty-eight percent of respondents said they oppose the withdrawal and reduction of troops.
While Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and other Pentagon officials attempted to prevent the president from doing so, Trump announced last week that he would withdraw troops from Syria. In a tweet issued to his personal account, President Trump said, “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.”
Sixty-nine percent of those polled in the survey said it is crucial that the United States keep troops in the Middle East.
When respondents were asked if they “think U.S. ground troops should be kept in places like Syria and Iraq to maintain security in the region” or whether they “think it is better to withdraw our troops from such areas,” 54 percent of those surveyed said it is better to keep troops there, while 46 percent said U.S. forces should be withdrawn from the area.
After the official announcement, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis stated he would be resigning from the Trump administration.