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 […]

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. […]

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%) […]

Nov. 17, 2005

III. Iraq and the War on Terrorism

Opinion leaders express deep doubts about the decision to go to war in Iraq, and most of them believe the war has undermined the struggle against terrorism. Influentials are divided on whether to keep troops in Iraq, but most think that the U.S. will ultimately fail in its effort to create a stable democratic government […]

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 […]

May. 12, 2004

Iraq Prison Scandal Hits Home, But Most Reject Troop Pullout

Summary of Findings Public satisfaction with national conditions has fallen to 33%, its lowest level in eight years, in the wake of revelations of prisoner abuse committed by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. President Bush’s overall job approval rating also has dropped into negative territory: 44% approve of his job performance, while […]