CNN Poll: Are you 'war weary?'
September 9th, 2013
06:29 PM ET
11 months ago

CNN Poll: Are you 'war weary?'

Updated 9/9/13 6:48 p.m. ET
Washington (CNN) - A "war weary" public.

The term has been front and center in countless headlines the past couple of weeks.

And a new national poll provides a new measure of just how tired of war Americans have become after more than a decade of conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq.

According to a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday, nearly two-thirds of the public now say that the U.S. should be very reluctant to use military force around the world, with only 34% saying the U.S. should be ready and willing to do so.

Americans are also split on whether President Barack Obama is honest and trustworthy. A day before the president appeals to the American people to support military action against Syria in a prime time address, the CNN survey shows that 51% of the public says that Obama's honest and trustworthy, with 49% disagreeing. In a May CNN/ORC poll, 58% of Americans described the president as honest and trustworthy.

In October, 2002, in the middle of congressional debate on launching military action in Iraq roughly a year after 9/11 terror attacks, nearly six in ten said that the U.S. should be ready and willing to use military force and only 38% said it should be reluctant. As late as two years ago, the public was divided pretty evenly on that question.

"There are currently no major demographic divisions on the question - men, women, old, young, rich, poor, Republicans and Democrats - all say that the U.S. should be very reluctant to use military force," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Republicans remain slightly more likely than Democrats to approve of military force, but even among the GOP, a majority say the country should be very reluctant to do so."

The poll's release comes as the president sits down for interviews with the country's major broadcast and cable news networks, including CNN. He is pushing for congressional authorization for U.S. military action to punish the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for allegedly using chemical weapons against its own citizens. And the survey comes one day before Obama gives a prime time speech to make his case against Syria,

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International September 6-8, with 1,022 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.


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soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Catherine

    They didnt ask me. I still like him

    September 9, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  2. rosey

    There is no doubt in my mind that Obama was the lesser of two evils in both elections. What I do doubt is how much difference there actually was.

    September 9, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  3. SixDegrees

    Disgusting, watching the Administration now trying to claim credit for a proposal made by Putin.

    Obama's "Red Line" speech is eerily reminiscent of Khaddafi's "Line of Death" proclamation.

    September 9, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  4. Malory Archer

    Yes, and I have been since September 15, 2001.

    September 9, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  5. Michael B

    We have already experienced one Civil War that we tried to alter the outcome ( Somalia ) , that didnt go to well for either the US or the UN. What makes you think this will be any different? How long was the civil war in Lebanon? It will give you a idea of what we face.

    September 9, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    As a country we should all be.
    As a citizen I say let the Arabs, Russians and Chinese do whatever they want to do.
    There have been genocide in Africa, Kosovo and there are dictators all over the world. We can't police everyone. Sorry but that video of these rebels executing a handful of men should keep us out of Syria.

    September 9, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  7. Just

    Split? I don't think it is a split at all. Maybe 80/20. The community organizer experiment is a fail.

    September 9, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. joe

    This man is far from being honest, not once has he done what he promised and has gone against the will of the people each and every time. What a waste of time to even consider that he is honorable he has proven to be nothing but a fake and a lier.

    September 9, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  9. KCK

    There are thousands of "military Grade" weapons that Obama talked about in his most recent Exec order regarding re-importation already in the US. They are called M1 Garands, left over from the Korean war from nearly 50 years ago, the ones you see in WWII movies.
    He is dishonest because he knows most will invision M16 assault rifles "on the streets" There are virtually no M1s on the street. So why does he make a pronouncement and use people confusion as a way to make them think he is doing any good on the "gun violence": front.
    Political dishonesty

    September 9, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  10. David

    Well... he's a politician, so... no, he's not trustworthy... No one should trust ANY politician, democrat NOR republican...

    September 9, 2013 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  11. Tampa Tim

    Bush's endeavors into war took us 13 years, $2 trillion added to the debt, 4300 members of military dead, 43,000 soldiers wounded, hundreds of thousands of civilians dead. Compare this to Obama's elimination of Ghaddafy that took 40 days with no military loss of life. That my right wingnuts friends is called "leadership."

    September 9, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  12. JCox in Wayne

    They're split because the Republican party does an incredibly wonderful job playing to the fear, ignorance and selfishness of the voting populace. That's why.

    September 9, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    No......I am nation building weary. There is rather huge difference.

    September 9, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  14. The fact of the matter

    There are still some who believe this bozo is honest and trustworthy? That's the real news.

    September 9, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  15. Daniela

    As a nation, we cannot afford to go to war mentally, physically, or financially. Instead of spending money on dropping bombs and destruction, we need to spend that money here in America creating jobs and taking care of each other. My generation spent their "college years" in Iraq/Afghanistan. Are we going to condemn another generation to massacre in Syria? Enough with the death and destruction already!

    September 9, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  16. joe

    All presidents need some territory to play politics. Other Presidents play politics behind the scene. Obama plays politics in front of votes, he may be honest in that sense. But, he also not honest to play politics that way, in that sense, he is not honest.

    September 9, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  17. Ben

    Since when is it acceptable to punish someone for "allegedly" doing anything? What happened to proof beyond a reasonable doubt? I think it is painfully obvious that the office of the presidency is merely a tool used by the Federal Reserve to ensure that international monetary structures remain in place, and those that threaten the US dollar by selling or buying oil using a currency other than the dollar must be dealt with.

    September 9, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  18. Frankie P

    nobody in govt should be trusted. we were taught this in the 3rd grade.

    September 9, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  19. pc93

    Sledgehammer Alert: Calling Congress to stop USA Warmongering in Syria!

    Is Syria a Trap? Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) say Nerve Gas Points to Rebels

    The Syrian War What You're Not Being Told

    September 9, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  20. JT

    Yes, U S A should use military force on Sirya, other wise we are embracing use of Chemichal weapons and the killing of children !

    September 9, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  21. jim g

    Will President Obama Wear His Nobel Peace Prize Medal When He Bombs Syria?

    September 9, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    And what does this poll have to do with Obama being honest and trustworthy? Nice job of sensational headline CNN.

    September 9, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  23. Kay Phipps

    im GOP weary.

    September 9, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  24. Clint Jensen

    I am a staunch conservative. The republican party left me a long time ago. We have no business getting involved in Syria, or most every other country for that matter. As terrible as it was that chemical weapons were used there, would anyone care enough to get involved if those same men, women and children were killed by more conventional weapons? I would think not since by all estimates, 100,000 have died there already.

    I would not trust this administration to get involved in a dog fight. They have no entry strategy, no exit strategy, no objective, no timeline, no nothing. Do we really think that lobbing a few cruise missiles in there is going to make both sides lay down their arms and play nice?

    But, let us for the sake of argument say that it will actually work. Then, how much is it going to cost us to make sure that they continue to play nice?

    September 9, 2013 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  25. ThinkAgain

    Yes, we're all "war weary," but as a parent, I can't stomach Assad getting away with using chemical weapons on his own people. I'm hoping Putin pressures Assad into turning over his chemical weapons stockpiles – but if that doesn't happen, we need to send in the missiles.

    September 9, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
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