The majority of active duty U.S. troops oppose being sent back to Iraq and expanding a mission in Iraq and Syria, according to a new poll conducted by The Military Times.
Although President Obama has approved continued air strikes against the militant group ISIS in both Iraq and Syria, he stressed earlier this month at Central Command in Florida that he would not commit troops to fighting another ground war in Iraq.
The reader survey asked more than 2,000 active service members: “In your opinion, do you think the U.S. military should send a substantial number of combat troops to Iraq to support the Iraqi security forces?”
More than 70 percent responded “No”.
“It’s their country, it’s their business. I don’t think major ‘boots on the ground’ is the right answer,” one Army infantry officer who deployed to Iraq three times told the Military Times.
The poll also shows a decline in how successful U.S. troops believed the first Iraq war was.
Four years ago, nearly 54% of troops believed the war was somewhat successful, now in 2014 nearly 60% of troops are saying the war was not very successful or not successful at all.
While those interviewed expressed several different reasons for responding “No” to the survey, the common question and criticism amongst military members is why Obama decided to completely withdraw troops in 2011.
“I know there are other political issues, but for our job, we should have stayed until it was secure,” Army Capt. Eric Hatch told the Military Times. “I think we could have stayed another year or two. If you’re going to commit troops to do a mission, you should stay until the mission is complete.”
NBC recently released a poll, in it 72% of its respondents said they believe President Obama will send troops into Iraq to fight ISIS.