Poll: Narrow Majority of Americans Back Trump’s Drawdowns in Syria, Afghanistan

Majority supports withdrawals despite negative media coverage

In the weeks since the White House announced an upcoming withdrawal from Syria, media coverage and comments from lawmakers on the matter have been almost uniformly critical. In many cases, the coverage has been hysterically so, warning of an imminent second 9/11 over it.

Yet this consistent narrative isn’t informing the public nearly so much as opinion-makers likely expected it to. A new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll showed a narrow majority of American voters remain in favor of the withdrawal of US troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

The polling figures showed 52% in favor of the Trump-announced drawdowns, and 48% against. The polls also showed a narrow 54-46% majority in favor of keeping troops “in places like Syria and Iraq,” though no Iraq drawdown is being contemplated at the moment.

After weeks of condemning the Syria pullout, media analysts are trying to downplay the significance of the poll showing a majority of voters supporting it, suggesting that there isn’t deep support for either position.

In reality, the persistence of the majority support speaks volumes, after weeks of consistent media portrayals of it as a colossal mistake. While there may always be some ambivalence on the margins, for 52% to remain in favor of a pullout shows a lot of resilience.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.