Almost half of Americans believe torturing enemy combatants is justifiable, according to a survey conducted by the International Committee for the Red Cross.
The poll found that 46 percent of Americans believe torture is acceptable, while 30 percent opposed. Another 24 said they were unsure or unwilling to answer, reported the Guardian.
On a more general question in the survey, one in three said torture was “part of war,” while just over half called it “wrong,” according to the New York Times. The others did not answer or did not have an opinion.
The poll surveyed more than 17,000 people in 16 different countries, including many that are ravaged by war and conflict.
And according to the Washington Post, Americans were far more likely to say that torture was “part of war” than people in Afghanistan, South Sudan, and other countries.
The survey found that 16 percent of Afghans believed torture to be “part of war” while 18 percent of South Sudanese, 14 percent of Ukrainians, and 15 percent of Chinese felt the same.
Patrick Youssef, the ICRC’s deputy director for Africa and its former head of mission in Iraq, said the large number of Americans who support torture and believe it to be a normal part of war might be because most of them do not have to suffer consequences of war.
“The further away you are from armed conflict, the less sensitive you are to what it actually means,” said Youssef said, according to the Washington Post.