Pew Survey Us Plays Less Important Role Globally

12.04.09 | FL News Team

Both the public and foreign policy experts see the U.S. playing a reduced role on the world stage. That's one of the key findings in a wide-ranging Pew Research Center survey on "America's Place in the World" that involved both the general public and the independent Council on Foreign Relations. For the first time in more than 40 years of polling, nearly half the public says our country should mind its own business and let other nations take care of themselves. That represents a sharp rise in isolationist sentiment.

 Just 32-percent of the public favors President Obama's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. Less than half are optimistic about the prospects for long-term stability in that country. More than half the survey's public participants view China's emergence as a world power as a major threat to the U.S., compared to 21-percent of the council's members. Both groups generally agree that three major threats facing the U.S. are Islamic extremists, Iran's nuclear program and global financial instability. Eighty-five-percent of the public views protecting American jobs as a top foreign policy priority.