American Voters and the Drone War

Americans are fine with drone strikes abroad but express ambivalence about killing other U.S. citizens, Jamelle Bouie blogs at the American Prospect.

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President Obama and secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel (Getty Images)

American Prospect blogger Jamelle Bouie checks in on a survey that shows Americans are fine with drone strikes abroad but express ambivalence about killing other U.S. citizens.

It's a near certainty that President Obama will continue his drone war, including targeted strikes against American citizens. Why? Because, at the moment, there's not much of a political price to pursuing the strategy. To wit, today's survey from CBS News is just the latest in a list of polls that show wide support for drone strikes, and smaller -- but still significant -- support for strikes against American citizens. Overall, 57 percent of Americans approve of how President Obama has handled terrorism, as opposed to the 31 percent that disapprove. Seventy-one percent favor drone attacks against suspected terrorists, with overwhelming support from all partisan groups:

The picture is different when it comes to killing Americans suspected of terrorism. There, the broad public is ambivalent -- just a plurality of Democrats and independents support the policy. Republican support -- reflecting the party's aggressive approach to foreign policy -- is still strong, though substantially smaller than support for the general policy of drone strikes.

Read Jamelle Bouie's entire article at the American Prospect.

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