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More than seven in 10 Americans say the United States will end up using its own combat troops against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria, despite President Barack Obama’s assertion that U.S. combat troops won’t be on the ground there.
This finding comes from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg poll, which also shows that Americans are divided over the merits of using U.S. combat troops – 45 percent are in favor of using them if military commanders think they’re the best way to defeat the ISIS army, while 37 percent are opposed.
President Obama has repeatedly stressed that America will not fight “another ground war in Iraq.” Instead, ground troops combating ISIS will be Iraqis and Syrian rebels, with assistance from U.S.- and coalition-led airstrikes.
“As your commander-in-chief, I will not commit you and the rest of our Armed Forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq,” he told U.S. military personnel earlier this month. “After a decade of massive ground deployments, it is more effective to use our unique capabilities in support of partners on the ground so they can secure their own countries’ futures. And that's the only solution that will succeed over the long term.”
Yet according to the poll, 72 percent of Americans believe the United States will still use its ground troops anyway against ISIS, versus just 20 percent who think it won’t.
The NBC/WSJ/Annenberg poll was conducted Sept. 19-25 of 1,283 registered voters, and it has a margin of error of plus-minus 3.15 percentage points.