Don’t Listen to the Polls: Why Obama Has More Room for Foreign Activism Than Polls Suggest

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Friday, August 8th, 2014

War-weary after the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and reeling financially from the Great Recession, the public wants U.S. leaders to focus more at home and shoulder far fewer burdens abroad. The public certainly rejects more American “boots on the ground,” and will strongly resist the new U.S. advisers and air strikes in Iraq. 

This conventional wisdom shapes the thinking of elected officials, policy makers, outside experts and the media—and therefore ends up constricting the policy options the White House, Pentagon and State Department view as viable.