(Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar)
Nearly four in 10 Americans have admitted that the U.S. is less safe today than before the 9/11 terrorist attack 12 years ago, which is a record high number according to a poll.
The Fox News national poll found that 38 percent of respondents believe America is less safe today, which is 5 percent higher than the last time the question was asked in 2011. When the poll was first started in 2004, only 23 percent said the same.
The poll surveyed 900 registered voters from September 6-8, 2013, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
The same poll found that 48 percent believe that the U.S. is less respected around the world than five years ago, 14 percent feel it is more respected, while 36 percent believe it is about the same.
The survey further questioned voters' opinions on the Syria crisis, as President Barack Obama and Congress delayed a vote on whether the U.S. should launch strikes against the regime of Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons on civilians.
While the majority, or 66 percent, said that they believe the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own people, only 36 percent said it should be punished for those actions. Similarly, only 33 percent said that the U.S. has a moral obligation to intervene in another country's civil war when more than 100,000 are killed, such as in the Syrian crisis.
The results were similar to other U.S. polls in the same time period that found that the majority of Americans disapprove of military strikes against Syria.
"Opposition may stem in part from the real concerns Americans have about possible repercussions from U.S. military action in Syria," CBS News offered.
"About two in three (66 percent) are very concerned that such action will become a long and costly involvement for the U.S.; that it will lead to a more widespread war in neighboring countries and other parts of the Middle East, and that it will kill or harm innocent civilians."
Obama recently said that a proposed Russian plan to have Syria surrender its chemical weapons, to which Assad has apparently agreed to, offers "encouraging signs" for a diplomatic resolution to the conflict, though questions remains.
"It's too early to tell whether [the Russian plan] will succeed, and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments," Obama said.
"But this initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force, particularly because Russia is one of Assad's strongest allies."