by Matthew Rusling
WASHINGTON, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Belief that the United States is winning the fight against terrorism has dropped to its lowest level in more than a decade of regular tracking, showed a poll released by Rasmussen on Wednesday.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 27 percent of likely U.S. voters now believe the U.S. and its allies are winning the fight against terrorism, the lowest level in more than a decade.
The figure is down eight points from 35 percent in April and 47 percent a year ago after hitting a high of 62 percent in February 2009 just after U.S. President Barack Obama's inauguration. Then it steadily deteriorated until the U.S. killing of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden in May 2011, when it rebounded into the 50 percent range, Rasmussen found.
In April, 39 percent said the United States is safer than before the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001, but 41 percent disagreed.
The poll comes as radical terrorists in the Middle East have suddenly captured worldwide headlines.
Indeed, the militant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has in recent weeks overrun parts of northern Iraq, steamrolling through vast swaths of territory and allegedly beheading victims in an orgy of violence nearly three years after U.S. troops pulled out of the embattled nation.
At the same time, violence has suddenly erupted in Israel, with U.S.-designated terror group Hamas firing rockets into civilian population centers in southern Israel.
Moreover, a number of U.S. foreign policy circles, pundits and a recently published U.S. Congressional report hold that ISIL could establish a safe haven in Iraq from which to strike the United States.
Fifty-nine percent of the poll's respondents believe there is a global conflict between the Muslim world and Western civilization. Seventeen percent disagree, but 24 percent are not sure in findings that are consistent with earlier surveying, Rasmussen said.
Just 44 percent now think the United States is too involved in the Middle East, down from 54 percent last October. Twenty-one percent said the United States is not involved enough in that region, an 11-point jump from 10 percent in the last survey. Twenty-four percent rate the U.S. level of involvement in the Middle East as about right. Eleven percent are undecided, Rasmussen said.