Polls: You don't want the U.S. involved in Egypt
August 15th, 2013
11:33 AM ET
10 years ago

Polls: You don't want the U.S. involved in Egypt

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Washington (CNN) - The United States should stay out of Egypt.

That seemed to be the sentiment from Americans regarding the upheaval in the Middle East nation after Egypt's military deposed President Mohamed Morsy, according to polling conducted last month, prior to the outburst of violence this week.

The surveys also indicated that a majority said U.S. aid to Egypt should be reduced or eliminated, that interest in what's happening in Egypt has diminished, and that only a small minority think that Washington has much influence on what's happening in Cairo.

More than three-quarters of those questioned in a United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll from mid-July said that the U.S. should "mostly stay out of events in Egypt and allow people there to resolve their own differences." Only 16% said Washington should "do more to try to shape the government in Egypt and promote an end to violence." According to the survey, there was virtually no partisan, ideological or demographic divide on this question.

Two-thirds of the public says the new government installed by the Egyptian military is something in between a friend and an enemy to the U.S. Only one in five said Washington should continue the same level of aid to Cairo, with six in ten saying the aid should be reduced or eliminated.

Egypt gets more than $1 billion each year of U.S. taxpayer money for military and civilian programs. In a statement Thursday, President Barack Obama refrained from calling Morsy's overthrow a coup, which would have implications the aid Cairo receives.

American sentiment on the upheaval in Egypt is in line with the public's current views on the deadly on-going civil war in Syria. Polls conducted in May and June of this year indicated that a majority opposed direct U.S. involvement in the fighting between the Syrian government and rebels.

The National Journal poll was conducted July 11-14. A Pew Research Center survey conducted on the same days indicated that interest about events in Egypt has diminished. Thirty-six percent said what was happening in Egypt is very important to American interests, down from 46% in February of 2011, during the early weeks of the Arab Spring.

Less than a quarter of the public said the U.S has a lot of influence on the situation in Egypt, with 48% saying Washington has some influence and a quarter saying the U.S. has not much or no influence.

"While we want to sustain our relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back," said Obama Thursday, as he announced that the U.S. was canceling a bi-annual joint military exercise with Egypt.

Filed under: Egypt • Foreign Policy • Polls
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Maybe the poll needs to be re-worded.

    Egypt is needed to help protect Israel. I guess we can cut off the money to Israel too?

    GREAT. Double savings.

    August 15, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. rs

    Egypt IS an important place. It IS the most moderate Arab nation, IT has signed a peace accord with Israel- things we value. It is also rapidly falling into either civil war, or the establishment of a military dictatorship. We may wish for a different outcome, but that isn't a place we want to be, or an issue we can fix. Iraq was an excellent teacher on that point.

    August 15, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    I consider the situation in Egypt to be pretty similar to our own war of independence.......and on that basis, we need to keep our noses out of it, and allow the Egyptian people to stop the Islamic menace that exists in their country, and reclaim their independence, based on their traditions.

    August 15, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    Correct. I do not want the U.S. involved in Egypt.

    August 15, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. tom l.

    So earlier you stated that this is obviously a coup. Are you upset with our president that he still does not call it what it is and is bascially misleading the American public (and the rest of the world)?

    August 15, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. Silence DoGood

    @ Rick "similar to our own war of independence.......and on that basis, we need to keep our noses out of it"

    The US war for independence was heavily aided by France and Spain as being anti-British.

    But the people are tired of Bush's then Obama's military adventurism.

    August 15, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  7. RT Colorado

    Is it a coup now?

    August 15, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Malory Archer

    tom l.

    Are you aware that the minute our President does call it a coup, he'll have no choice but to cut off all financial aid, throwing Israel under the bus? Is that what you want? Nah – truth be told, it doesn't matter what he does; you'l; just take the opposite opinion.

    August 15, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. Proud Independent !

    You can count on Rick to offer a daily dose of stupid ! Rick just stop already ! You're a joke !

    August 15, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. Mark

    We should stay out. We can't basically invade the enitre Middle East and force our brand of democracy down their throats. We've tried this before and it always backfires. The Iranians hated the Shah and we ended up having to take out Saddam, who we have originally helped to prop up in iran. The English and French weren't any more successful during their colonial escapades. We need to spend our energies and tax dollars here at home.

    August 15, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "The US war for independence was heavily aided by France and Spain as being anti-British."

    Shhhh...facts only scare and upset them.

    August 15, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. rs

    tom l.

    So earlier you stated that this is obviously a coup. Are you upset with our president that he still does not call it what it is and is bascially misleading the American public (and the rest of the world)?
    I don't like word games Tom, Frankly I don't care what the President does or does not call it. Naming the Devil as it were does not give it special powers. Egypt held an election, the Muslim Brotherhood won, now they are removed from power, and replaces by military or police generals. Those are the facts. There is nothing "misleading" there. Calling it a coup or not doesn't change the facts.
    Sort of like whether we call what Republicans did in NC- "Voter Suppression" the effect is the same.

    August 15, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. Joseph

    Think the reason we all don't want to be involved is pretty clear. we are all tired of having our taxes paying for the resolution of other peoples countries and their betterment when we have enough issues and shortage of funds here.

    August 15, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  14. Jason

    IIMO the only reason the US should get involved is to help protect the Suez canal. Period.

    August 15, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  15. BIGRED

    The only place for the U.S. to be helping and dumping billions of tax payers dollars is here in the U.S. Let's look at this from a different view. Did the people (us) ever get to vote once on who,where,how much and how long to send aid to anyone?
    No is the answer to all the questions yet our government pours billions to every carp hole in the world, with no thought about who they are stealing the money from. That would be us the voters we need the power back in our hands not the crooks of DC. The time has come to cut the cord on all country's and save our self's before we have a Arab spring our self's here. You all chuckle when people say that but have you notice a lot more and I mean a lot of us are saying it now then say 10 years ago ? That's the powder keg now all it takes is a fuse and bang..

    August 15, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. Dixe

    I believe the only involvement should be through NATO. Isn't that why this group was formed? They can help stop the violance and give a plan for the other nations to follow. If the administration wants to give support let NATO tell us what is needed and how it will be used.

    August 15, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  17. Data Driven

    The survey reflects the position of what people might call the "far left" - not too shabby for an allegedly "center-right" country.


    August 15, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. Smeagel4T

    Short of defending our own soil, the US should not get involved in anything that we cannot convince two or more other major western powers to also get involved in, AND carry a notable portion of the load. None of this ridiculous "coalition of the willing" made up of mostly small nations bribed into joining Cheney and Rummy's neocon pet wars. Plus Britain really needs to learn to stop being so gullible when the phone rings from the US.

    August 15, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. Al-NY,NY

    Halliburton is sad....they've still got huge stockpiles of defective equipment sitting around that they can't sell off at top dollar with no regard to their responsibilities to keep soldiers safe

    August 15, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Adam

    It's a very similar scneraio to the war of independene but without any aid. The old Egyptian regime and military will never allow a civilian to rule the country; islamic or non-islamic. Big Period!

    August 15, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. Fair is Fair

    Amazing... all of the sudden, the left, who normally despises anything Israel, is covering for Obama in anything that can be perceived as protecting Israel. The left is consistent in their inconsistency.

    August 15, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |