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Poll: Global Support Declines for U.S. Foreign Policy


The global image of the United States has declined, and fewer people support the U.S.-led war on terror. That's the assessment of a worldwide poll released this week by a Washington D.C.-based research group.

"As your president, I am responsible for the decision to go into Iraq," President Bush commented at the beginning of the Iraq war.

That decision by President George W. Bush has caused America's global image to slip, and support for the war on terror has declined, according to a poll released this week by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

Pew questioned more than 17,000 people in 15 nations, including the United States, asking their opinions on U.S.-led efforts to fight terrorism. Results show that support for the war on terrorism has declined even among close U.S. allies such as Japan.

Pew Center President, and director of the Global Attitudes Project, Andrew Kohut, explains: "The polls, besides showing declining favorability ratings for the U.S., also shows declining support for the U.S.-led war on terrorism, President Bush's ratings - confidence in him to do the right thing in regard to foreign affairs was ever-lower in Europe, and most people predicting that the United States will not achieve its goals in Iraq."

The survey suggests many people feel the U.S. presence in Iraq is a danger to world peace. It also indicates the war has damaged opinions of America, not only in predominately Muslim countries, but in Europe and Asia as well. For example, in India, 71 percent had a favorable view last year and that slipped to 56 percent this year.

"The most serious problem is backsliding in the image of the U.S. in countries where we saw improvements last year, specifically in India and Indonesia, where tsunami aid appeared to have made a real difference. Some of that difference seems to have eroded based on this current survey.

William Kristol, editor of the Washington-based political magazine, The Weekly Standard, doesn't agree with the poll's conclusions. "It's hard to make the case that we're facing a huge anti-American wave in these countries."

Kristol said he believes relations with India, which is in talks with the U.S. over a nuclear cooperation agreement, have improved. He also says he believes relationships with allies such as Japan also are strong.

Still, the Pew director says the poll accurately reflects a decline in America's global image, one he says will be a challenge for the country to improve.

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