War and Sacrifice in the Post-9/11 Era
As the United States marks the 10th anniversary of the longest period of sustained warfare in its history, the overwhelming majority of veterans of the post-9/11 era are proud of their military service. At the same time, many report that they have had difficulties readjusting to civilian life, and have suffered from post-traumatic stress. While veterans are more supportive of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq than the general public, just one-third say that both been worth fighting.
Views of Middle East Unchanged by Recent Events
The American public continues to express reservations about the U.S. taking an active role in the world, and casts a wary eye on the turmoil sweeping the Middle East. Far more continue to say they sympathize with Israel rather than the Palestinians, and a plurality says President Obama is striking the right balance with the situation.
Public Wary of Military Intervention in Libya
By a wide margin, Americans say the United States does not have a responsibility to do something about the fighting between government forces and anti-government groups in Libya. Divided support for a no-fly zone is undercut by overwhelming opposition to bombing Libyan military air defenses.
U.S. Seen as Less Important, China as More Powerful
A new survey of both the public and members of the Council on Foreign Relations finds an increasingly isolationist sentiment among Americans. The public also differs with CFR members on increasing troop levels in Afghanistan, the threat posed by China and the use of torture.
Independents Take Center Stage in the Obama Era
Centrism has emerged as a dominant factor in public opinion as the Obama administration begins. Republicans and Democrats are even more divided than in the past, while the growing political middle is steadfastly mixed in its beliefs about government, the free market and other values that underlie views on contemporary issues and policies. Both political parties have lost adherents since the election and an increasing number of Americans identify as independents.
Support for Global Engagement Declines
The public’s top long-term foreign policy goals are decidedly America-centric. Defending the country against terrorism, protecting U.S. jobs, and weaning the country from imported energy all draw extensive bipartisan support.
The Complicated Politics of Free Trade
Crafting effective U.S. trade policies in an era of rapid economic globalization is tough. But the politics of free trade are even tougher — particularly for Democrats, according to a recent national survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
Free Trade Agreements Get a Mixed Review
The American public continues to have a mixed opinion about free trade agreements such as NAFTA and the WTO. On balance they are seen as a good thing for the country, but Americans are divided over the impact of free trade agreements on their own personal financial situations.