Almost 60% Americans support drone strikes overseas: Survey
KABUL (Pajhwok): About 60 percent of Americans support the use of drones to kill terrorists in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen despite concerns that they endanger innocent civilians, a new poll found Thursday. However, respondents were not asked whether civilian casualties affected their approval, US media reports.
According to the poll, which surveyed1,077 people, roughly six in 10 Americans are in favor of using drone strikes to target and kill individuals who belong to terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda.
The majority of support for the strikes was recorded among both Democrats (close to 60 percent) and Republicans (72 percent), while 45 percent of independents voiced their support.
Only 13 percent of respondents opposed drone strikes. Some 24 percent were unsure. The survey also found that a large majority of Americans – almost 75 percent – believe it’s okay for the government to target and kill American citizens who are members of terrorist organizations.
If a strike could potentially kill innocent Americans, though, respondents were much less likely to back a targeted attack. About 47 percent said the strike would still be acceptable in that case.
Of all the people who first said they supported drone strike attacks against terrorists, 43 percent of them changed their minds and said it is unacceptable for the government to carry out an attack if innocent Americans could be hurt.
The poll was spurred by President Barack Obama’s apology for the death of two hostages – an American and an Italian – who were killed by a US drone strike earlier this year.
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