Wednesday, April 4, 2007

More on diplomacy

Reading some serious stuff on foreign policy and public opinion, this study shows the American public is smarter than I sometimes give them credit for.
This desire for diplomacy is particularly apparent in public attitudes on the spread of nuclear weapons. As far as the vast majority of Americans are concerned, military force is "off the table" in dealing with Iran's nuclear program and its possible meddling in Iraq. There's also been a
sharp drop in public confidence in military force as a tool for dealing with other countries developing weapons of mass destruction—even though controlling the spread of nuclear weapons is the public's top policy priority and one of its major fears.

The public anxiety on our foreign policy is wee founded. We're failing in more than just Iraq.
Certainly the public's anguish and frustration over Iraq is a driving force in this questioning of U.S. policy. Multiple national surveys demonstrate attitudes on the war have turned sharply negative. But it would be a mistake to believe that public dissatisfaction with the Iraq war is confined to just the conduct of the war itself. The public's anxiety spills over into the
entire range of challenges facing the United States in a dangerous world, leading them to question fundamental premises and to give the government poor grades on multiple fronts.

Here's a chart on the public's view on Iran.

Note that "Public Agenda" is part of "Foreign Affairs", one of the most comprehensive venues for policy debates for decades. I routinely read the magazine back in the pre-internet days, and the online magazine is a great resource.

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