Jun. 4, 2012

Section 7: Values About Foreign Policy and Terrorism

For two decades, the public has consistently favored focusing more attention on domestic problems, and less on overseas concerns. At the same time, it has expressed robust support for an active approach to world affairs. The new survey finds most Americans continuing to hold both points of view. But the number saying the U.S. should […]

Nov. 3, 2011

Section 8: Domestic and Foreign Policy Views

Generations Divide on Some—Not All—Social Issues As discussed in Sections 1 and 4, different generations of Americans have starkly different views on some of the social changes occurring in the country today. That’s particularly the case when it comes to trends related to diversity, homosexuality, and secularism. While Millennials tend to take a more liberal […]

Sep. 1, 2011

United in Remembrance, Divided over Policies

Ten years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the events of that day retain a powerful hold on the public’s collective consciousness. Virtually every American remembers what they were doing at the moment the attacks occurred. Substantial majorities say that 9/11 had a profound personal impact and that the attacks changed the […]

Aug. 30, 2011

Section 6: Terrorism, Concerns about Extremism & Foreign Policy

Most Muslim Americans continue to reject violence and extremism. As in 2007, very few see suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilians as ever justified in the defense of Islam, and al Qaeda is even less popular than it was then. At the same time, there is extensive concern among Muslim Americans about […]

Aug. 30, 2011

Muslim Americans: No Signs of Growth in Alienation or Support for Extremism

As the 1oth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, a comprehensive public opinion survey finds no indication of increased alienation or anger among Muslim Americans in response to concerns about home-grown Islamic terrorists, controversies about the building of mosques and other pressures that have been brought to bear on this high-profile minority group in recent years.

Aug. 30, 2011

Section 4: Challenges, Worries and Concerns

Nearly 10 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a majority of Muslim Americans (55%) say that it has become more difficult to be a Muslim in the United States, and a sizable minority report having experienced specific instances of mistreatment or discrimination in the past year. A majority also says that Muslims generally are singled […]

May. 4, 2011

Section 9: Foreign Policy and National Security

While Americans hold disparate views on how the U.S. should pursue its military and foreign policy, these issues generally do not represent the deepest divides across typology groups. This stands in contrast to the findings of the previous political typology study in 2005, in which national security issues were among the most divisive – a […]

Dec. 2, 2010

Despite Years of Terror Scares, Public’s Concerns Remain Fairly Steady

Since 9/11, there have been major terrorist attacks in Great Britain, Spain and other countries. And in the United States, there have been Orange Alerts and numerous near misses involving bombs smuggled aboard aircraft and in parked cars. But over the course of all of this, there is little evidence that close calls in […]

Oct. 22, 2010

Continued Positive Marks for Government Anti-Terror Efforts

The federal government continues to get positive marks for efforts to reduce the threat of terrorism, but many Americans say luck is a big reason why the United States has not suffered a major attack at home since Sept. 11, 2001. About seven-in-ten (69%) say the government is doing very (15%) or fairly well […]

Jan. 14, 2010

Obama Image Unscathed By Terrorism Controversy

Summary of Findings In the aftermath of the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack on a Detroit-bound airliner, the government’s ratings for reducing the threat of terrorism have slipped. In addition, 33% now say that the ability of terrorists to launch a major attack on the U.S. is greater than it was at the time of […]

Jan. 14, 2010

Section 3: Terrorism and National Security

In the wake of the failed terrorist attack on a jetliner on Christmas Day, the public has become far more concerned that anti-terrorism policies fail to protect the country – and far less concerned that they restrict civil liberties. In the current survey, 58% say their greater concern is that government anti-terrorism policies have not […]

Dec. 3, 2009

Section 7: Threat of Terrorism and Civil Liberties

Most Council on Foreign Relations members believe that America is safer from terrorism than it was at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. But the majority of Americans disagree, saying that the ability of terrorists to launch another major attack is either greater (29%) or the same (38%) as it was on 9/11. […]

Dec. 3, 2009

U.S. Seen as Less Important, China as More Powerful

The general public and members of the Council on Foreign Relations are apprehensive and uncertain about America’s place in the world. Growing numbers in both groups see the United States playing a less important role globally, while acknowledging the increasing stature of China. And the general public, which is in a decidedly inward-looking frame […]

Aug. 7, 2009

Public Supports Targeting Al Qaeda Leaders, Wants Congress in the Loop

May. 21, 2009

Section 10: Social Networking, Science and Civil Liberties

Amid the growing popularity of social networking web sites, the public expresses mixed opinions about people sharing personal information online. About as many say it is a bad thing (44%) that the internet enables people to share pictures and other personal things about themselves with others as see this as a good thing (43%). As […]

Apr. 23, 2009

Public Remains Divided Over Use of Torture

Amid intense debate over the use of torture against suspected terrorists, public opinion about this issue remains fairly stable. Currently, nearly half say the use of torture under such circumstances is often (15%) or sometimes (34%) justified; about the same proportion believes that the torture of suspected terrorists is rarely (22%) or never (25%) […]

Feb. 18, 2009

Obama Faces Familiar Divisions Over Anti-Terror Policies

President Obama receives positive ratings for his handling of terrorism and most Americans say his administration’s policies will reduce the likelihood of another major attack on the United States. But as in recent years, the public remains deeply divided over how best to defend the nation against the threat of terrorism. Americans approve of […]

Dec. 18, 2008

Part 2: Bush and the Issues

Shortly after President Bush took office in February 2001, no single issue stood out as the top national problem, though morality and ethics were mentioned most frequently (at just 12%); fewer than 1% cited terrorism. There was no clear public consensus about the nettlesome issue that was confronting policymakers – how to spend the federal […]

Mar. 14, 2008

What Foreign Policy Agenda?

Issues have hardly played a dominant role in the nominating races, especially on the Democratic side. Still, the public has a clear domestic agenda for the next president. Fix the economy, reduce health care costs, improve the environment, reform education, deal with rising energy costs and so on. This hearty appetite for an assertive domestic […]

Feb. 28, 2008

Section 5: Iraq, Afghanistan and Terrorism

Public perceptions of the situation in Iraq have become significantly more positive over the past several months, even as opinions about the initial decision to use military force remain mostly negative and unchanged. The number of Americans who say the military effort is going very or fairly well is much higher now than a year […]