Poll: Americans Oppose Going to War Over Korea

Voters Wary as Officials Pledge Unquestioning Support for South

by Jason Ditz, November 24, 2010

Obama Administration officials made a big show of pledging to commit American soldiers to a potential resumption of the Korean War, and the head of the US Air Force even offered to “pitch in” if South Korea started launching bombing raids against the North. But a new Chicago Council on Global Affairs poll showed a large majority of Americans are averse to getting involved in a new Korean War.

Indeed, 56 percent of Americans opposed unilateral military action in the extremely unlikely event that North Korea launched an all-out invasion on the South. The poll also showed massive opposition to the US taking it upon themselves to “punish” North Korea for affronts against the South.

Of course, while tensions are on the rise on the Korean Peninsula in the wake of this week’s brief artillery clash, a ground invasion by the struggling North seems remarkably unlikely. In fact, even official war games held in and around the peninsula universally assume an invasion of the North in an attempt to stabilize the nation or enforce a regime change, not the other way around.

The poll was not confined to Korean matters, though this was clearly the topic of most immediate import this week. The poll also showed growing opposition among voters to the planned “permanent” bases in Afghanistan and the possibility of such bases in Iraq, suggesting the era of knee-jerk support for America’s ever-growing collection of overseas bases is coming to an end.

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