A recent national survey conducted by the Eurasia Group Foundation found that Americans generally say they prefer diplomacy over military deployments around the world. The findings come in the first large-scale poll conducted since the end of America’s 20-year involvement in Afghanistan.
With the last American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in August after 20 years there, President Joe Biden – at the UN General Assembly last week – said America was moving from an era of “relentless war” to an era of “relentless diplomacy.”
A recent national survey of 2,000 American voters found that most citizens agree with that view.
The majority of Americans surveyed by the Eurasia Group Foundation want a reduction in the number of American troops stationed abroad and a reduction in overseas commitments; while 58% said they wanted to increase American diplomatic engagement.
The lead of the survey, Caroline Gray, said, “We found that 62% – or most – judged that the greatest lesson from war was that America should no longer be involved in nation-building matters, or that America should only send troops if there were vital national interests at stake. threatened.”
The report found that 80% of younger voters, between 18-29 years, believe the president should seek Congressional approval before ordering military action abroad – unless America is under attack.
“Sixty-five percent of younger citizens want to revive nuclear talks with Iran. They are more skeptical of America increasing its presence in East Asia to counter the rise of China, and the majority of them also want to reduce American defense spending. So compared to older citizens, they are much more willing to reduce America’s military posture and dependence on the military in solving global challenges,” Gray added.
Americans appear divided on the best approach to China and Russia, with 40% saying they are unsure what America should do if China invades Taiwan.
This stands in stark contrast to what Christopher Skaluba, a political expert at the Atlantic Council, said, who said it was a bipartisan consensus among American foreign policy leaders.
“I think on the security front, Washington DC, as you know, is obsessed with China as an up-and-coming competitor. The president himself has spoken very often about the time when we are moving into the era of great power competition, the era of democracy VS autocracy, and the real concern that China as an autocracy has many resources and clear plans, aimed at dominating issues in the world.”
The survey found that humanitarian aid, disaster relief and Covid-19 relief were the most popular types of aid; while military aid and arms sales were rated the least popular. [em/jm]