Dec. 14, 2012

Public Says U.S. Does Not Have Responsibility to Act in Syria

As fighting in Syria rages on between government forces and anti-government groups, the public continues to say that the U.S. does not have a responsibility to do something about the fighting there. And there continues to be substantial opposition to sending arms to anti-government forces in Syria. The latest national survey by the Pew […]

Mar. 15, 2012

Little Support for U.S. Intervention in Syrian Conflict

There is strong public sentiment against the United States intervening in the fighting in Syria between government forces and anti-government groups. Nearly two-thirds (64%) say the United States does not have a responsibility to do something about the conflict in Syria. Similar percentages oppose the U.S. and its allies bombing Syrian military forces to […]

Nov. 17, 2011

Section 4: Views of Iraq

A majority of Americans (56%) say the United States has mostly succeeded in achieving its goals in Iraq. And the public is overwhelmingly supportive of winding down U.S. military involvement in the country: Fully 75% approve of Barack Obama’s decision to withdraw all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of the year. Just […]

Sep. 8, 2011

Libya: Steady Views, Declining Interest

Despite the apparent success of NATO-supported rebel troops, public views about the decision to conduct air strikes in Libya remain mixed and have changed little since the U.S. and allies launched military operations there in late March. Over the same period, public attentiveness to the events in Libya has declined substantially – even as […]

Jun. 16, 2011

In Shift from Bush Era, More Conservatives Say “Come Home, America”

In their first major presidential debate June 13, the Republican candidates sketched out a cautious approach to U.S. global engagement that would represent a departure from the policies of the Bush administration. Yet their ideas are very much in tune with the evolving views of the GOP base. In the Pew Research Center’s political typology […]

May. 4, 2011

Section 2: Value Divides Within Party Coalitions

The new political typology provides further evidence of deep and enduring partisan divisions over political attitudes and preferences. Yet an analysis of the typology groups’ fundamental political values also shows significant cleavages within both parties’ core groups and their broader coalitions over attitudes toward business, immigration, religion, the environment and other issues. Looking at the […]

Mar. 14, 2011

Public Wary of Military Intervention in Libya

The public by a wide margin says the United States does not have a responsibility to do something about the fighting between government forces and anti-government groups in Libya. And while opinion is divided over enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, this view is undercut by the fact that Americans overwhelmingly oppose bombing Libyan […]

Dec. 3, 2009

Section 2: Global Threats and Use of Military Force

Majorities of the public and Council on Foreign Relations members say Islamic extremist groups, Iran’s nuclear program and international financial instability represent major threats to the well-being of the United States. However, the public is much more likely than CFR members to view the Taliban’s growing strength in Afghanistan, North Korea’s nuclear program, and China’s […]

May. 21, 2009

Section 6: Foreign Policy and Global Engagement

Despite the economic crisis, there is no indication that isolationist sentiment has increased among the public. An overwhelming proportion of Americans believe the United States should be active in world affairs. Support for free trade agreements has increased over the past year, and opinions about immigration are generally stable. Fully 90% agree that “it’s best […]

Oct. 5, 2006

Iraq Looms Large in Nationalized Election

Summary of Findings Iraq has become the central issue of the midterm elections. There is more dismay about how the U.S. military effort in Iraq is going than at any point since the war began more than three years ago. And the war is the dominant concern among the majority of voters who say they […]

Sep. 6, 2006

Diminished Public Appetite for Military Force and Mideast Oil

Summary of Findings Five years later, Americans’ views of the impact of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have changed little, but opinions about how best to protect against future attacks have shifted substantially. In particular, far more Americans say reducing America’s overseas military presence, rather than expanding it, will have a greater effect in reducing […]

Feb. 21, 2006

Youth and War

May. 10, 2005

Part 6: Issues and Shifting Coalitions

The extensive divisions within the two parties over fundamental political values are mirrored in disagreements over contemporary issues. Economic issues tend to divide Republican typology groups, while social issues split the Democrats. On many national security issues, especially the war in Iraq, internal partisan fissures are overshadowed by the vast gulf dividing Republicans and Democrats. […]

Aug. 18, 2004

Part Four: Beliefs About Foreign Policy

Americans today believe the guiding principles of U.S. foreign policy should be morality, caution and decisiveness. Fully 72% of the public says following moral principles should be a top priority in the way the U.S. conducts foreign policy. Roughly two-thirds (66%) say being cautious should be a top priority and 62% place equal importance on […]

Nov. 5, 2003

Part 3: Foreign Policy, International Threats and Patriotism

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks profoundly affected the way Americans view national security threats and their own sense of personal safety. But for the most part, the public’s views about global engagement and the role of military power have stayed fairly stable since the Center began its values surveys 16 years ago. The public is […]

Jan. 22, 2002

Americans Favor Force in Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and……

Introduction The public expects and supports continued military action to combat terrorism. No less than 92% think the United States will have to use military force to reduce the threat of terrorism, even if Osama bin Laden is captured or killed. The perception that the fight against terrorism remains unfinished also is reflected in the […]

Jan. 22, 2002

Other Important Findings

Many Reasons Justify Iraq Action Americans see several possible justifications for expanding the war into Iraq. Fully 83% say evidence that Iraq abetted the Sept. 11 attacks would be a very important reason for using force. Nearly as many say force is justified if Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction (77%) or is harboring […]

Dec. 6, 2001

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Judeo-Christian Religions Still Favored Despite higher favorability for Muslim-Americans, ratings for this group are still lower than those of the major Judeo-Christian religions. Three-quarters of Americans give a favorable rating to Catholics, Protestants and Jews (78%, 77% and 75%, respectively). Atheists continue to receive much lower favorability ratings than the major religions ­ just 32% […]

Sep. 27, 2001

Military Action A Higher Priority Than Homeland Defense

Introduction and Summary The public’s strong commitment to the use of military force in retaliation for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is predicated at least in part on the idea that a good offense represents the best defense. By 44%-33%, Americans think that taking military action abroad to destroy global terrorist networks is more important […]

Mar. 29, 2000

A Year Later, More Doubts About Kosovo Mission

Introduction and Summary A year after the United States launched military operations in the Balkans, the public has more doubts about the efforts of the U.S. and its NATO allies to bring peace to Kosovo. Americans are also wary of possible military action against China, with a solid majority opposed to using force to defend […]