Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Americans Turn Isolationist

American engagement in the world is beginning to wane. A strong sense America is no longer able to compete with rapidly growing developing countries of China, India and Brazil; exhaustion with the expensive and unresolved wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and disappointment that much of world opinion is hostile to American values, including nations we have helped for decades, is culminating in a growing view that international involvement is risky and unrewarding.

The three decades of American post-WWII dominance were based on economic, military and cultural power. The strength of each is now debated. The latest Washington Post poll shows just one-third of Americans believe an “interconnected global economy” is a good thing. In 2001, 60 percent of Americans believed globalization was a good thing.

The weakness of the international economy and its impact on America’s domestic wellbeing is now seen as a threat equal to international terrorism.

Previous polls reported in this blog highlight America’s fear of the rise of China and the U.S.’s corresponding decline. Polls also show Americans believe Iraq is not secure as either an ally or a democracy, and more people now believe we should leave Afghanistan than stay.

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