Majority of Americans fine with drone strikes, reveals poll

Washington, June 4 (ANI): Although US President Barack Obama's aggressive campaign of drone strikes has generated controversy overseas and among terrorism experts, majority of America seems to be fine with it, a poll has revealed.

The US drone strike last week that killed top Taliban leader, Waliur Rehman, in the North Waziristan region on May 29, was strongly condemned by critics. Some said the killing would only make reconciliation talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government more difficult to convene. Others said such strikes infuriate local populations and are a recruiting tool for Al Qaeda and other Islamist extremists.

The American public, however, appears to be unmoved by such arguments.

The new Monitor/TIPP poll revealed that 57 percent of Americans support the current level of drone strikes targeting "Al Qaeda targets and other terrorists in foreign countries." Another 23 percent said the use of drones for such purposes should increase. Only 11 percent said the use of drones should decrease, reports Christian Science Monitor.

The poll, conducted from May 28-31, followed a major speech in which Obama suggested the use of drone strikes would decline.

According to the poll, Americans are by and large comfortable with drone strikes being ordered by the president, the CIA, or by the military. Sixty-two percent say they approve of drone-strike authorization coming from the president, the Pentagon, or the CIA, and 26 percent favour setting up a drone court to sign off on strikes.

The poll also revealed what could be interpreted as little enthusiasm for Obama's efforts to move away from the post-9/11 concept of a "war on terrorism".

More than half of Americans - 56 percent - say the US continues to be in a "war on terror," while 58 percent say "fundamentalist Islam" remains a "major threat" to the US. (ANI)


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