Nearly six-in-ten Americans say it is important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action. Just 30% say it is more important to avoid a military conflict with Iran.
The U.S. image abroad is more favorable than it was in the Bush years, but it now faces a new challenge: doubts about America’s superpower status and the belief that China either will replace or already has replaced the United States as the world’s leading superpower.
The president gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from the world (with the notable exception of the U.S.) for the way he has handled the world economic crisis. Obama's personal popularity remains high, as do favorable views of the U.S. In a striking difference from the Bush years, while many around the world disagree with Obama's foreign policies, the U.S. image has not been significantly dented as a result. Muslim countries, however, continue to hold a negative view of America and most also give Obama unfavorable ratings.
In the U.S. and around the globe, the spread of nuclear weapons is seen as a major threat, but not overwhelmingly so. Those concerned, however, look to the U.S. for leadership.
As international pressure mounts on Iran to halt its nuclear program, Americans and Europeans generally express serious concerns about the potential threat from a nuclear-armed Iran. These fears are somewhat muted in Russia
About six-in-ten Americans feel it is more important to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons with military force than to avoid conflict. However, most also approve of direct negotiations and tougher economic sanctions. The efficacy of diplomacy is questioned, though.
Chances for progress at the Middle East conference should be bolstered by the presence of Saudi Arabia, which is viewed as a key ally in much of the Arab world.
A new survey finds continuing anti-American sentiment and significant slippage in China's image among the publics of other major nations. Concern about environmental degradation as a major threat to the planet has increased substantially in 20 of 35 countries for which trends are available.
The 2006 Pew Global Attitudes survey finds that America's image has again slipped in most of the 15 countries surveyed and support for the U.S.-led war on terrorism has declined even among close U.S. allies such as Japan.
The six-party talks on North Korea – involving the United States, South Korea, North Korea, China, Japan and Russia – slated to begin Aug. 27 in Beijing reflect global public concern that the regime in Pyongyang poses a serious threat to Asian stability.