Nearly half of those polled view Obama as a cautious and consultative commander-in-chief and more than a third see him as indecisive in military matters.
Obama was widely criticized in 2009 for his months-long consultations with senior aides and military chiefs on whether to send more troops to Afghanistan. Critics called it dithering, but he said such a big decision required careful deliberation. He eventually dispatched 30,000 more troops.
But Obama is facing mounting discontent among opposition Republicans and from within his own Democratic Party over the fuzzy aims of the U.S.-led mission in Libya and the lack of a clearly spelled-out exit strategy for U.S. forces.
If the Libya mission becomes a foreign policy mess, mixed with perceptions Obama is a weak military leader, it could spell trouble for him in the 2012 presidential election.