Just 13% of Americans would support US military going to war over Saudi oil field attack

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo takes part in a meeting with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on September 18, 2019.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo takes part in a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on September 18, 2019.
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Mandel Ngan/Reuters

  • A new Insider poll found just 13% of respondents would back the US military joining or supporting Saudi Arabia in a conflict following an attack on two major Saudi oil facilities.
  • A significant portion of Americans – roughly one in four – believe the US should remove itself entirely from the affairs of the region and let Saudi Arabia handle its issues itself.
  • The Trump administration has blamed the attack on Iran, which comes amid broader tensions linked to economic sanctions, and there are fears of another conflict in the Middle East is on the horizon.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Only 13 percent of Americans would support the US military joining Saudi Arabia in a conflict as part of a response to a recent attack on two major Saudi oil fields, a new Insider poll of US adults shows.

The poll asked participants “what, if any, role do you think the US should take in a response to the attack on the Saudi oil facilities?” The participants were given six options and asked to select the one that comes closest to their view.

  • Overall, the poll found 6% of Americans think “the US should engage in air assaults or bombings as part of a Saudi military response but refrain from committing ground forces.”
  • Meanwhile, a little over 7% said “the US should help Saudi Arabia with a complete military assistance in whatever form may be required.”
  • The poll actually found nearly 25% of Americans, or roughly one-in-four, feel “the US should remove itself entirely from the affairs of the region and let Saudi Arabia handle the issue itself.”
  • At the same time, the poll showed about 25% of Americans said “the US should condemn the attack, and consider sanctioning or diplomatically criticizing those responsible.”
  • Meanwhile, the poll found about 16% of Americans believe “the US should offer material support in the form of supplies and intelligence to Saudi Arabia for their military response, but no more.”
  • And roughly 22% of respondents said they “don’t know” what the US should do.

In short, there’s not significant support the for the US involving itself in a Saudi war or taking military action on its behalf as a result of the Saudi oil attack, even though the incident had massive consequences and impacted 5% of the daily global oil supply (causing oil prices to surge).

Read more: Trump and Iran may be on the brink of a war that would likely be devastating to both sides

President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced new sanctions against Iran, who some US officials have blamed for the attack. Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the incident, but the Trump administration and Saudi Arabia have expressed doubts about this. But neither have offered conclusive evidence Iran is responsible.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, where he’ll discuss a broader response with leaders there.

The attack on the Saudi oil fields took place on September 14. Insider’s poll ran from September 17 to 18, had 1,142 respondents, and a margin of error of 3%,

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. Total 1,142 respondents collected September 17 – September 18, 2019, a margin of error plus or minus 2.98 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.