Tags: Iran | Polls | Russia | Syria | Ukraine | Americans | strong

Poll: Most Americans Want Strong US Global Leadership

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 08:47 PM

Most Americans want the United States to be an active player on the global stage, even after more than a decade of wars overseas, a new survey finds.

Sixty-nine percent of Americans said they'd back ground troops to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon – and big majorities favored airstrikes – seven in 10 – or drone strikes – six in 10 – against suspected terrorists, as well as sending U.S. forces to prevent genocide or provide humanitarian relief, says the Chicago Council on Global Affairs survey.

"A key indication that Americans want to remain globally engaged is that most Americans still see strong U.S. leadership in world affairs as a good thing," the survey noted. Eighty-three percent said strong U.S. leadership in the world is desirable.

"Even among those who say the United States should 'stay out' of world affairs, a majority says that strong U.S. leadership is desirable," though 50 percent of that group say it's merely "somewhat" desirable.

A third of those who think strong leadership is desirable say it's because "the [United States] should be a model for other countries to follow," the survey found.

The Washington Free Beacon noted the results belie the "war-weary" image of America after overseas conflicts, including a Pew Research Center poll in July 2013 that found 46 percent of Americans thought the nation "should mind its own business internationally."

"It's clear that Americans are fatigued by a decade of war, but describing them as isolationist is misleading," said Ivo Daalder, president of the Chicago Council.

"They understand that we live in a dangerous world, and that our safety and security will at times require a resort to arms. When that clearly is the case, Americans will support using force."

Yet, in a seemingly contradictory finding, about 40 percent of Americans say the nation should "stay out of world affairs" —the highest percentage in 40 years of Chicago Council surveys.

Only small percentages of Americans supported U.S. military intervention in Ukraine to repel the Russian invasion (three in 10) or dispatching troops to the Syrian civil war (17 percent), the survey found.

David Adesnik, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who researches isolationism and national security strategy, told the Free Beacon that "interpretation of polling results is more of an art than a science."

"Right now, the public clearly wants stronger leadership from the White House, as shown in numerous polls," Adesnik told the newspaper. "This is not the same as saying the public wants the president to use force more often. Americans want peace through strength, which is much easier said than done."

The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

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Most Americans want the United States to be an active player on the global stage, even after more than a decade of wars overseas, a new survey finds. Sixty-nine percent of Americans said they'd back ground troops to keep Iran from obtaining . . .
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Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 08:47 PM
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