Americans against US global intervention: Poll

Americans against US global intervention: Poll
Thu Apr 3, 2014 13:38:46

A majority of Americans believe that most people now believe America should “mind its own business internationally”, according to a long-running study that found.

The findings, published on Tuesday by the Pew Research Center in association with the Council on Foreign Relations, suggest Americans want their leaders to adopt a less interventionist approach, although there is a growing desire for the development of stronger trade and business links abroad.

The US is now widely seen as less respected abroad, bucking a trend in which Americans believed their reputation had recovered since Barack Obama was elected. Impressions of how the US is perceived under Obama are now, broadly, as negative as they were in the final days of the George W Bush administration.

That may stem partly from a belief that America's power is in decline. According to the poll, Americans’ views about the geopolitical clout of their country has reached a historic low, with a majority (53%) for the first time believing that the US plays a less important role than it did 10 years ago.

The survey was conducted in a year in which the US pulled back from a military intervention in Syria, chose a diplomatic route to secure a nuclear deal with Iran and sought to contain the international fallout over disclosures by whistleblower Edward Snowden about the reach and nature of surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency.

The poll confirms a significant shift in public attitudes, with growing concern about the privacy implications of national security efforts.

In broad terms, the survey is likely to be interpreted as evidence that President Obama’s cautious approach to foreign policy is backed by a public wary of becoming too embroiled in problems abroad.

However, most people surveyed disapprove of the president's handling of foreign policy, with particularly negative views reported of his handling of China, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran.

The authors of a report accompanying the survey described it as “the most lopsided balance in favor of the US ‘minding its own business’ in the nearly 50-year history of the measure”.

The results show how much public opinion has changed since 2002, when just 30% of Americans believed the US should mind its own business.

The poll questioned over two thousand adults between October 30 and November 6.


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