Europeans still want US to take global lead
by Daniel Mason
British and American people stand in stark contrast to other Europeans on the question of whether war is sometimes necessary to obtain justice – but most people still want the United States to take a leading role in world affairs, according to a new survey published yesterday.
After a decade of conflict following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, early results from the German Marshall Fund of the United States' transatlantic trends survey revealed that 64 per cent of people in the UK, and 75 per cent of Americans, agreed that, "under some conditions, war is necessary to obtain justice".
But 64 per cent of respondents across 12 European Union countries disagreed, with the most anti-war sentiment found in Italy, Spain and France.
In the dozen EU countries surveyed, 54 per cent said the United States should "exert strong leadership" on the global stage. Those most favour were Dutch, British and Swedish people, while support for American leadership was weakest in Slovakia and Spain, where 54 per cent thought it undesirable.
Outside of the EU, 85 per cent of Americans wanted their country to show leadership, but their enthusiasm was not matched in Turkey, where more than two thirds were against it.
Meanwhile slightly more Europeans than Americans believed President Barack Obama had done a good job handling international terrorism, 73 per cent compared with 68 per cent. Obama's highest ratings of 81 per cent were in Italy and Portugal, followed by Germany and the UK.
But his standing was low in Turkey, where only 23 per cent believed he was dealing successfully with terrorism.
Most people in the 12 EU countries, 72 per cent, had a favourable view of the US in general. Once more Italy and Portugal displayed the most transatlantic affection, with 81 per cent again giving positive answers – and they were joined by the same proportion of Romanians.
In contrast only a third of French people have a favourable view of the US and in Turkey 62 per cent have an unfavourable opinion. In the US itself, 75 per cent of Americans are positive about their own country.
The full results of the annual survey, which explores the transatlantic relationship, are set to be released on 14 September. The EU countries included were France, Germany, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and Sweden.
US should revisit 'haphazard' foreign policy
The foreign policy approach of both US presidential candidates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, is haphazard and should be revised to focus on dialogue with societies rather than governments and political elites, writes Vahram Ayvazyan