Pakistan: Growing Concerns About Extremism, Continuing Discontent with U.S.
Pakistani public opinion has turned against al Qaeda and the Taliban, and concerns about Islamic extremism are widespread. At the same time, Pakistanis continue to express negative views of the U.S., although there is an openness to improving relations between the two countries.
Confidence in Obama Lifts U.S. Image Around the World
In many countries opinions of the United States are now about as positive as they were at the beginning of the decade before George W. Bush took office. Improvements in the U.S. image have been most pronounced in Western Europe, where favorable ratings for both the nation and the American people have soared. But opinions of America have also become more positive in key countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia, as well. Signs of improvement in views of America are seen even in some predominantly Muslim countries.
Views About Torture Remain Evenly Split
Amid intense debate over the use of torture against suspected terrorists, public opinion about this issue remains about equally divided overall, although Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to say it is at least sometimes justified.
Few in Pakistan Support Extremists — But Few Favor Military Confrontation
Extremist groups are increasingly demonstrating their ability to strike throughout a country in which support for al Qaeda or the Taliban has declined sharply in recent years and where very few agree with their widely noted tactic of preventing education for girls.
Obama Faces Familiar Divisions Over Anti-Terror Policies
Obama receives positive ratings for his handling of terrorism but the public remains deeply divided over how best to defend the nation against the threat.
India: Global Optimism, Local Fears
Recent Pew Global Attitudes surveys show India clearly embracing the economic aspects of globalization. But, even before the Mumbai terrorist attacks, the Indian public was greatly worried about terrorism.
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.
Unfavorable Views of Both Jews and Muslims Increase in Europe
Publics that view Jews unfavorably also tend to see Muslims in a negative light. However, the trend in negative views toward Muslims in Europe has occurred over a longer period of time than recently growing anti-Semitic sentiment.
All the World’s a Stage
Iraq, the war on terrorism, support for Israel and other key features of U.S. foreign policy continue to generate animosity toward America in the Middle East, Asia and elsewhere. On the bright side, America seems to be winning the battle of ideas on some important fronts and improving U.S. image problems is not impossible.
Obama Has the Lead, but Potential Problems Too
Obama has moved out to a broad-based advantage over Clinton in the national Democratic primary contest. Public attitudes about the war in Iraq have turned more positive, a favorable development for McCain.