Most Americans believe that President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the Syrian border has damaged America’s reputation around the world as a reliable ally, a new USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll finds.
Even Republicans, typically in Trump’s corner, by 44%-36% say the nation’s reputation has been hurt.
Many of those surveyed express uncertainty about what to think; only half say they are very or somewhat familiar with rapidly changing developments in the region. The abrupt U.S. withdrawal opened the door to a Turkish military assault on the Kurds, who had been aligned with U.S. forces against ISIS. The White House announced Thursday that Turkey had agreed to a five-day ceasefire to allow Kurds to withdraw from the area.
Overall, a 37% plurality of Americans calls the president’s decision to withdraw the small contingent of U.S. troops wrong because it upset stability in a dangerous region; 27% say it was right because the United States has too many military commitments around the world. More than one in four Republicans see the decision as wrong.
Opposition swells among those who are more familiar with what’s happening in the region. By nearly 2-1, 58%-30%, they say the president made the wrong call.
“The decision to remove troops from northern Syria has not proven to be popular with the American public,” said Cliff Young, the president of Ipsos. “While Americans remain divided on most topics, there is some surprising unanimity here, especially among people more familiar with the decision.”
Overall, 54% say the withdrawal has damaged the nation’s standing as a trusted ally.
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Source: USA Today