It doesn’t take a fancy national survey to catch the mood: Americans are cautious about more military interventions abroad, even against thugs of the likes of the Islamic State.
Yet the backing of majorities in both the House and Senate suggests that President Barack Obama has made a good case for the new air attacks in Iraq and Syria. Further, we are heartened that the United States is part of a broader coalition for action.
Five Arab states with close ties to the United States joined in the Syria strikes. That is in addition to the air strikes by America’s oldest ally, France, in support of the legitimate if currently shaky government of Iraq. Britain is reportedly ready to help, as well, in part because of the brutal beheading of a British citizen held by militants.
Turkey, with whom our alliance has been testy lately, has been holding off — officially because of Turkish hostages in the Islamic State’s custody. But its national interests are not served by a flood of refugees from Syria, and its absence is difficult to justify.
This new campaign is thus a tough call, which is what presidents and congresses are for, but the support of our allies is one way in which the American people can be reassured about our military support of the governments of the region.