Before the Syrian regime used chemical weapons on its own people, only about 1 in 10 Americans favored US military intervention in the country. Interestingly, nearly one quarter of Americans favor military intervention with UN approval.
This is surprising because according to a June Media and Public Opinion Research Group poll a vast majority of Americans have a low opinion of international organizations and international law when it comes to making the world a safer place. Nevertheless, it seems like most Americans who favor intervention would prefer to do so with the UN’s blessing, most likely because of the war in Iraq which most Americans believe the US lost. Back in 2003 the US intervened in Iraq even though the UN refused to support the war. The legacy of Iraq has likely made the United States reluctant to enter into armed conflicts in the region without UN support.
Currently President Obama is pressing congress to approve military strikes against the Syrian regime and with few allies agreeing to support the US, it looks as if any intervention will be US led and without UN approval. It will be interesting to see what next month’s polls suggest regarding US popular opinion on Syrian intervention. One of the primary reasons that the British parliament voted against a possible intervention was because British public opinion was against it. Unless a significant shift has occurred over the month of August, it appears that most Americans are also against military intervention.
This data comes from a Media and Public Opinion Research group survey of 507 adults conducted over the month of July 2013. The Margin of error is 4.35%