Saturday, October 21, 2006

US Public Wants "New Approach" on Foreign Policy

By Jim Lobe

"WASHINGTON - More than 70 percent of the U.S. public, including nearly half of self-identified Republicans, say they prefer candidates for Congress in the Nov. 7 mid-term elections who will pursue a "new approach" to U.S. foreign policy, according to a new survey released here Friday by the Programme on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA).

The survey, which echoes many of the key findings of two other recent major polls of U.S. foreign policy attitudes, found that voters are increasingly disillusioned with critical aspects of policy preferences of the administration of President George W. Bush, particularly his reliance on military power, penchant for unilateral action, and disdain for international opinion.

A second poll released last week by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs found that around two-thirds of the public believes that the Iraq war has not reduced the threat of terrorism, will not lead to the spread of democracy in the Middle East, and has worsened U.S. relations with the Islamic world. Some three out of four respondents said they worry about the U.S. playing the role of "world policeman" more than it should.

Asked to choose between two principles for U.S. foreign policy -- that Washington should use its power "to make the world be the way that best serves U.S. interests and values" or that Washington "should coordinate its power together with other countries according to shared ideas of what is best for the world as a whole" -- 79 percent, including 75 percent of Republicans, chose the second option."

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