Syria

Poll Finds Opposition to Intervention in Syria May Be Higher Among Military Than General Public

Military personnel, too, skeptical of war

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use it or lose it doesn't apply
US Navy

Public opinion polls consistently show an overwhelming majority of Americans opposed to intervening in Syria, even as they accept that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons. Now an unscientific poll by the Military Times shows 75 percent of active duty military personnel out of 750 polled opposing air strikes in the US. The Times reports:

For many troops, money is a key consideration. Troops question the cost of bombing Syria at a time when budget cuts are shrinking their pay raises, putting their benefits package at risk and forcing some of their friends to separate involuntarily.

"We don't have money for anything else but we have a couple hundred million dollars to lob some Tomahawks and mount an expensive campaign in Syria?" said Army Sgt. 1st Class Chris Larue, a 39-year-old maintenance expert at Fort Eustis, Va., referring to the precision-guided missiles that are likely to be used in any strike.

The debate about striking Syria is also revealing a strain of isolationism growing inside a battle-weary military that has spent more than a decade supporting high-tempo war operations overseas.

"People are just sick of it," said Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey Harvey, a nuclear-trained officer who works at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.

"It's like the old pre-World War II isolationism, I hear grumblings of that. People would rather withdraw all our troops and let the rest of the world figure out what to do. I think there is a lot of credence to that argument."

As Jacob Sullum wrote in his column today: so many isolationists!

Check out Reason-Rupe polling on Syria and intervention here.