Most Utahns still believe U.S. troops should not invade Kuwait and drive Iraqi troops from the small country, and the number of people who don't want a shooting war in the Persian Gulf is growing, the latest Deseret News/KSL-TV poll shows.
Pollster Dan Jones & Associates found that 56 percent of Utahns don't want U.S. troops invading Kuwait, a small emirate at the top of the Persian Gulf that was seized by armed forces of Iraq's Saddam Hussein Aug. 2.A plurality of Utahns, 47 percent, also want the number of U.S. troops in the gulf reduced as other nations' military involvement is increased, Jones found.
Almost 200,000 U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force troops are in the region now, and U.S. officials believe the show of strength has persuaded Saddam not to invade Saudi Arabia, Kuwait's neighbor to the south.
A month ago, Jones asked similar questions. Then, 52 percent of Utahns didn't want the United States to invade Kuwait. That majority has grown by 4 percentage points in 30 days. Nationwide polls show a growing number of Americans don't want to go to war in the region, although administration officials say President Bush won't wait forever to see the effects of a total economic boycott of Iraq aimed at getting Saddam's troops out of Kuwait.
In the latest poll, Jones found that 11 percent of Utahns want more U.S. troops sent to the Persian Gulf, 36 percent want us to keep the current troop level, and 42 percent want U.S. troops slowly withdrawn as troops from other countries are sent in. Five percent said the United States should withdraw its troops quickly.
Many countries have volunteered to send troops to the area. Even Japan, whose constitution forbids military involvement in foreign countries, is working on a way to provide a small number of troops for non-combat duties.
Should the United States invade Kuwait in an effort to drive Iraqi forces out of the country?
Definitely should 17%
Probably should 20%
Probably should not 28%
Definitely should not 28%
Don't know 6%
As the U.S. military buildup in the Persian Gulf reaches its peak, which of the following positions do you feel the U.S. should take?
Increase our military presence 11%
Keep the current number of forces 36%
Slowly withdraw U.S. troops in favor of other nations' troops 42%
Withdraw U.S. troops quickly 5%
Don't know 5%
Sample size: 900; margin of error plus or minus 4%