CNN Poll: Are you 'war weary?'
September 9th, 2013
06:29 PM ET
9 years 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. steven dahl

    NOPE, we're not war weary, we are corruption weary. It's time to eliminate the war cabal: Obama/Kerry/McCain/Feinstiein/Boehner/Pelosi/Hillary.

    September 9, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    all politicians.

    September 9, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  3. Jules

    I am war weary, but I don't think that you turn your back on evil, which gassing your own citizens is. I also think you have to show Iran and North Korea that you mean what you say and you also have to let Israel know that we've got their back.

    September 9, 2013 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  4. JeffinIL

    Whether we are weary or not doesn't really matter. We're broke. We cannot afford yet another war.

    September 9, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  5. Cora Belle Marburger

    America cannot force our democratic mindset upon the Syria and the Middle East nor can they force their mindset upon us.
    There's is not guarantee that our minor strike from us would not start WWW III,. We need to learn from our past mistakes, not create more problems where we cannot recover. I'm a Christian and I pray that our God will lead us down the right path. Please, no war!

    September 9, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Are you 'war weary?'
    Yes !

    Also weary of the TEA people and Randy Paul .

    September 9, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  7. Tony in Maine

    More like weary of the hysteria sweeping the bobbleheads' world.

    September 9, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  8. Evergreen

    The last to wars crippled the economy so of course we are reluctant to use our military.

    September 9, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  9. Hohumm

    You bet we're war weary. It's lose/lose for anyone to go in there and try to sort it out. Osama is dead let's go home and "lock the front door, oh boy" Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq I & II, Afghanistan. How much more money are we expected to pour down these rat holes that will never be able to self govern?

    September 9, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  10. A Vet

    The American people are weary........come on. Get a grip. Less than 1% of all Americans currently serve in the military and less than 7% of Americans are classified as veterans. The vast majority of American's haven't seen anything remotely close to war, and have march casually on in the wake of 9/11.

    When did American's become so consumed with 'what's in it for me'? There can only be two outcomes to Syria without some type of American intervention:
    1) The al-Assad regime survives. The regime that gassed its own people, minimized civil liberties, and supported Hezbollah gets to stay in power. Iran gains influence. The unacceptable status quo remains.
    2) The opposition, with support from Saudi Arabia and the 'moderate Islamist' regime in Turkey among others, wins. Syrian women lose the right to drive. Gays get the death penalty. al-Qaeda gets a foothold in the Levant. That's an awesome alternative.

    This is America's fight. It's the fight between good and evil, between liberty and tyranny. Get over your self-diagnosed 'war weariness' and get behind what is right.

    September 9, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  11. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Yes, I am war weary; thanks to Bush and his team of liars.

    September 9, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  12. S. B. Stein

    A boots on the ground where it is going to be hard to get out of it is the war weary that people are complaining.

    September 9, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  13. GubnitSPY

    WAR has never helped anyone....PERIOD. Only fools believe it to be necessary and the world is full of fools.

    September 9, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  14. Books Will Save The Planet

    Who wouldn't be wary? We have been involved in a war or regional conflict starting with George Bush, Bill Clinton, Bush Jr. and President Obama. This time it is different, there is little faith that we can trust our government to tell us the truth,the NSA spying on US citizens as an example.

    Obama is the change President, he wants to change the location of war to Syria and if we do then all us voting taxpayers will have left in our pockets is change as well.

    September 9, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  15. asutliff

    "War-weary" is not the correct term. We have been confronted with multiple military responses in the Middle East that, in retrospect, appear to be unrelated, but are still lumped under the umbrella of the "War Against Terror". I sense a drift here. How is a military response to gas attacks in Syria promoting our "War Against Terror", which presumably posits ourselves as targets? I am "weary" of an administration that lacks vision for the region (the Middle East) and our interests. We are engaged in "fire-fighting" in the most negative aspect of the term. What is the current administration's policy regarding the region?

    September 9, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  16. PtBarnumBoy

    Good god people, we haven't started a war in months now, how do you expect the military industrial complex to survive under such condidtions?

    September 9, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  17. boungiorno

    i don't know, do you?

    September 9, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  18. Tom

    Are you 'war weary?' Of course. Who isn't? Stupid wars.

    September 9, 2013 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  19. allen

    if you have not been to war you cannot be "war weary". You have no clue.

    September 10, 2013 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  20. Dvet

    War is breaking the middle class and leaving american veterans and their families in critical situations. Strengthen america first. More people died in katrina and the u.s. Government did not respond so whats the hurry now.

    September 10, 2013 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  21. Vicki

    Yes I am war weary. I hope we can stop some of the violence in Syria. I also would hope we can help those who have had to flee the area and are now refugees. I definitely do not approve of what Assad has done to his people for wanting a better country.

    September 10, 2013 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  22. mickinmd

    I think we are "war without a probable benefit to the U.S." weary. In Iraq we created an ideal ally for Iran and couldn't have better set it up -with virtual all-Shiite power- to fall in into civil if we wanted to. In Afghanistan the people will hate us for generations for installing and propping up a corrupt government.
    The only good thing we've accomplished is to show states who sponsor terrorism against us that we will inflict much pain on them. But we accomplished that nearly a decade ago. Everything since is basically a waste of money, lives, and inflicting lifelong handicaps on many thousands of former soldiers that will be a burden to them and to America for the next half century..

    September 10, 2013 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I'm definitely poll weary and wary.

    September 10, 2013 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  24. kirk

    As a parent you learn to pick your battles, and that is what you see in the polls. If you weren't asking to arm the very same terrorist group we have been told is a major threat to u.s., it may be different.we know we can't change anything in the middle east, war is a game of revenue for them, when your aide to them is a big % of their gdp they will do or say anything to keep the money flowing.cut them off, and get out, and let them kill each other.

    September 10, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  25. ge

    brains instead of guns -those that not go against the republican constitution

    September 10, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
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