Americans, Britons Fault Foreign Policy

An overwhelming majority of Americans and Britons think that their leaders were pursuing wrong-headed foreign policies that made the world more dangerous, two American and British polls showed.

Americans, Britons Fault Foreign Policy

An overwhelming majority ofAmericans and Britons think that their leaders were pursuing wrong-headedforeign policies that made the world more dangerous, two American and Britishpolls showed Tuesday, April 3.

The third edition of the Public Agenda Confidence inUS Foreign Policy Index, which is published by with Foreign Affairs, America'smost influential publication on international affairs and foreign policy, incooperation with Public Agenda think tank, showed that Americans areincreasingly anxious about the direction of US foreign policy.

"This latest Confidence in US Foreign PolicyIndex provides mounting evidence of widespread public doubt about the country'sinternational position," said the report, which was released Tuesday onPublic Agenda's website.

The report introduced a new index called the"Anxiety Indicator," which is billed as gauging Americans'anxiousness or contentment with USforeign policy.

The 200-mark Indicator stood at 137 — above theneutral mid-point of 100 and seven points higher than it was in September 2006.

"The Anxiety Indicator is moving closer to the150 mark, the 'red zone' that to me would signal a full blown crisis of publicconfidence," Daniel Yankelovich, chairman of US Public Agenda think tanksaid in the report.

Almost three out of four said the country was notdoing a good job as a world leader in creating a more peaceful and prosperousplanet, while 68 percent said the rest of the world saw the United Statesnegatively.

"The new research provides striking evidence thatAmericans' anguish over Iraqis spilling over to other areas of foreign policy -- with serious potentialeffects on the policy options available to current and future leaders,"the report noted.

Gideon Rose, Foreign Affairs' managing editor, saidin the report the Americans are disillusioned with the Iraq war, butthe research goes deeper.

"We are seeing the public seriously inclined tolimit America's foreignpolicy options because they no longer trust Washington's judgment," he said.

Some 59 per cent of respondents said they did nottrust the government to tell the truth, up 10 points since last September.

A constant nightmare for Bush is the invasion of Iraq as he istrying his best to sell his unpopular war to the public.

Matthew Dowd, Bush's chief strategist in the 2004crucial presidential race, said Sunday, April 1, that he lost faith in Bush,blasting his "my way or the highway" mentality.

Click hereto read the report in full.

Wrong Track

The public skepticism and anxiety in the US is mirrored in Britain with the majority believethat the country should play a more modest global role and cut its coataccording to its cloth.

The YouGov survey for The Daily Telegraph,published on Tuesday, showed that Britons see their government going on thewrong track and want to scale down their country's global role.

Sixty-five percent of voters said Britain should"not seek to have as much military influence in the world as we havenow."

Most voters believed that it is time for Britain toabandon its great-power pretensions and focus on the interior.

They say that Britainshould mode itself after Sweden,Canada or even Belgium.

Nearly 60 per cent of Britons said that Britishtroops should be withdrawn from both

Afghanistan and Iraqmore or less immediately.

Britain has about 7,200 troops in Iraq, but the government has saidit will withdraw about 1,600 this year.

The government has also pledged an extra 1,400troops for Afghanistan,taking the country's contingent in the NATO-led Force to 7,700.

The YouGov poll showed that two voters in everythree believe Britainis already over-extended and should reduce its overseas commitments, shouldspend less and should not worry if British influence is thereby diminished.

British Prime minister Tony Blair has drawn fire forfollowing the American lead and backing wartime Bush in his invasion of Iraq.

Former US president Jimmy Carter hadcriticized Blair for being "so compliant and subservient" to Bush.

A recent Guardian/ICM poll has showed that the largemajority of Britons opposed the Blair-Bush political marriage and wanted a divorceand independence from the US.

 

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