Americans feel a moral obligation to help humanitarian victims (like those in Syria) with military force

By: Sarah Kreps,  The Washington Post
April 10, 2018

In this Washington Post editorial, Sarah Kreps, associate professor of government, and colleague Sarah Maxey, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House, discuss research that indicates that President Donald Trump's humanitarian rhetoric about the recent attacks in Syria can persuade the public to support military action – even when partisanship and polarization are high.

"We wanted to see whether Americans were more likely to support military action for humanitarian reasons or military action to defend a foreign country against invaders.," they write. They found that the public was more likely to support the use of force for humanitarian purposes than for defending another country — by margins of up to 27 percent.

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