Wednesday, December 4, 2013

turning inward

The American public is getting tired of foreign engagement. The latest quadrennial survey of opinion for the Council on Foreign Relations paints a gloomy picture.

For example
After the recent near-miss with U.S. military action against Syria, the NATO mission in Libya and lengthy wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, about half of Americans (51%) say the United States does too much in helping solve world problems, while just 17% say it does too little and 28% think it does the right amount. When those who say the U.S. does “too much” internationally are asked to describe in their own words why they feel this way, nearly half (47%) say problems at home, including the economy, should get more attention.
There are more interesting findings. but most reflect a kind of pessimism of events abroad and U.S. ability to affect change, and a preoccupation with domestic, especially economic, concerns.

These views make it a hard sell for any leaders who want to promote global engagement.

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