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Americans Split Over Committing U.S. Troops to U.N. With AM-Warring for Peace, Bjt

December 5, 1992

NEW YORK (AP) _ Most Americans think the United Nations could be relied on to fight at least some aggression worldwide, but they are divided over whether to commit American troops to such a U.N. force, an Associated Press poll found.

American public opinion is also split on the question of military intervention to alleviate suffering caused by internal conflicts in such places as Somalia and the former Yugoslavia.

Forty-five percent said the United Nations should intervene if it takes military force to restore normal life, but 38 percent opposed intervention. The rest were not sure.

The telephone survey of 1,004 adults was taken Nov. 13-17 by ICR Survey Research Group of Media, Pa., part of AUS Consultants. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3 percentage points, plus or minus.

The U.N. secretary-general, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, has proposed a major upgrade in the U.N. military structure, so that the world body could roll back aggression and restore broken cease-fires.

Only 7 percent of Americans in the poll said the United States could almost always rely on the United Nations to deal with foreign aggression. Twenty-five percent rated the world body as reliable most of the time, and 55 percent said it could be relied on some of the time.

But only two in five favor assigning U.S. troops to a permanent anti- aggression force of the United Nations.

The reluctance to commit troops was strongest among women, those under age 35 and those in the lowest income category.

It also was strong among the seven in 10 Americans who believe the world is becoming a less safe place and among the four in seven who say the United States should concentrate on problems at home and worry less about the world.

Only 28 percent agreed with a less isolationist world view: that the United States has to maintain full support of its international agreements and alliances. A majority of those people favored a U.S. troop commitment to U.N. forces and intervention to restore normal life in places such as Somalia.

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