Poll Shows Isolationist Streak In Americans By Megan Thee-Brenan

New York Times
May 1, 2013

Americans are exhibiting an isolationist streak, with majorities across party lines decidedly opposed to American intervention in North Korea or Syria, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

While the public does not support direct military action in those two countries right now, a broad 70 percent majority favors the use of remotely piloted aircraft, or drones, to carry out bombing attacks against terrorism suspects in foreign countries.

Sixty-two percent of the public say the United States has no responsibility to do something about the fighting in Syria between government forces and antigovernment groups, while just one-quarter disagree. Likewise, 56 percent say North Korea is a threat that can be contained for now without military action, just 15 percent say the situation requires immediate American action and 21 percent say the North is not a threat at all.

Louis Brown, 50, a poll respondent from Springfield Township, Ohio, said, “We don’t need additional loss of American lives right now.”

In the poll, 4 in 10 Americans cited the economy and jobs as the country’s most important problems, while only 1 percent named foreign policy.

The nationwide telephone survey was conducted on both land lines and cellphones with 965 adults and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

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