Poll shows majority of Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of Islamic State

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WASHINGTON: The majority of the Americans disapprove of U.S. President Barack Obama’s handling of the Islamic State (IS) and think the country’s military has so far performed badly against the extremist group, according to a new CNN/ORC survey released Monday.

The CNN/ORC poll found that 57 percent of the Americans surveyed disapprove of how Obama is handling IS, a noticeable increase compared with the last September survey where 49 percent of the respondents raised their eyebrows at Obama’s handling with the extremist group.

The poll also showed while 78 percent of the Americans surveyed believe that Congress should vote to give Obama the authority to continue to use military force against IS, the Americans are divided on whether ground troops should be sent into combat operations in Iraq or Syria, with 47 percent saying Obama should send ground troops and 50 percent opposing such idea.

Obama on Wednesday asked Congress for authority to use force against IS and said his war power proposal would not authorize long-term, large-scale ground combat operations like those in Iraq and Afghanistan, with local forces instead carrying that responsibility.


U.S. Congress will start hearings on Obama’s proposal after its weeklong President’s Day recess. However, initial reactions to the proposal from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle indicated a tough road ahead.

While Congressional Republicans said the proposal put too many restraints which would handcuff the military, their Democratic counterparts said that more limits should be imposed to prevent Obama from committing more ground troops in the future.

U.S.-led coalition started to conduct air-strikes at IS targets in Syria and Iraq in September, and Obama so far has been using the 2001 and 2002 war authorizations, which allow him to use force to go after the extremist group of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, namely Islamic State (IS in this case, to fight IS without permission from Congress.

The bleak approval rating for the Obama administration’s tactics against IS came at a time when international turmoil last weekend further aggravated Americans’ concerns about growing threats abroad. A new video released by IS on Sunday appeared to show IS fighters beheading a group of Egyptian Christians in Libya, causing many to fear that the influence of IS has already spilled over the whole region. PNA

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