(Reuters also reports that “Washington has quietly taken steps that would make it easier, moving Patriot surface-to-air missiles, war planes and more than 4,000 troops into Jordan, officially as part of an annual exercise in the past week but making clear that the assets could stay on when the wargames are over.”)
Until now, the pattern in public opinion has been clear.
“Polling conducted in recent months suggests that President Barack Obama is bucking public opinion in opting to authorize military aid to the Syrian rebels,” write Mark Blumenthal and Ariel Edwards-Levy in the Huffington Post.
“Polls have typically shown that as many as two-thirds of Americans oppose military action in Syria, even when questions that specify the aid come in the form of ‘weapons’ rather than more direct military intervention,” they write, citing polls by CBS/NYT, Gallup, NBC/WSJ, Fox News, and HuffPost/YouGov.
For example, Gallup reported two weeks ago that “68 percent of Americans say the United States should not use military action in Syria to attempt to end the civil war there if diplomatic and economic efforts fail, while 24 percent would favor US military involvement.”
A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey had just 15 percent of respondents favoring “military action to help stop the killing,” and even fewer (11 percent) agreeing that the US should “provide arms to the opposition.”