CBS News poll: How Americans want to fight terrorism today

Credit: CBSNews
Credit: CBSNews

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The 20-year war on terrorism brought much debate over how to reduce terrorism, such as the extent and type of U.S. engagements overseas. But today, some of these opinions are informed by the public’s wariness after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Most are more leery about military action in general. Only about a third would back general efforts to “turn other countries into democracies” or “military actions overseas” as approaches to reducing terrorism. (Though drone strikes against suspected terrorists, in particular, is something most agree with doing.) 

But increased security at airports and at the U.S. border meets with wide approval. Large majorities favor more restrictions on immigration and visas as part of the efforts to reduce terrorism. There is also broad and bipartisan support for generally increased efforts to support human rights around the world.


And as a broader approach to fighting terrorism, a slight majority want the U.S. to be generally less involved and not try to influence other countries around the world. It’s a view shared by slim majorities of Democrats and Republicans. 


This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,011 U.S. adult residents interviewed between September 6-9, 2021. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey, and the U.S. Census Current Population Survey, as well as 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is ±2.5 points.