Who Supports The War On ISIS?


Arabs do, according to a new regional survey:

The poll comes from the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, which asked 4,800 randomly selected people from around the Arab world about US foreign policy and ISIS. When asked “how would you evaluate the foreign policy of the United States towards the Arab region,” 73 percent of respondents answered negative or “negative to some extent.” This makes the broad support for the anti-ISIS campaign even more surprising. When asked if they supported the US-led airstrikes against ISIS, a majority in every single country said they support the campaign[.]

What’s that about? Well, the poll also asked about attitudes toward ISIS and found them to be overwhelmingly negative in most Arab countries, so supporting a war against the group follows somewhat logically. But as Beauchamp notes, that support “isn’t necessarily durable”:

At the beginning of the 2011 US-led intervention in Libya, for instance, there was a fair amount of Arab support for the campaign. By November, after the intervention ended, a plurality of Arab respondents in one poll thought toppling Qaddafi had been the wrong thing to do. It’s also possible to over-interpret these results. You might look at the Iraq numbers and assume that ISIS is losing the battle for popular opinion in Iraq — and for a group that depends on popular support to survive, that’s deadly. But it’s probably very hard to sample Sunni Iraqis in ISIS-controlled territory, who are really ISIS’s base.