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Poll says limit troops abroad [ Wednesday, 29 Aug 07 | 18:19 ]
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People in the US, UK and six other countries show little desire for increasing the role their nations' troops overseas according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll. The poll also sampled attitudes in Canada, South Korea, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

In each country surveyed, only about one-in-ten say their government does not send its military frequently enough to trouble spots. Roughly eight-in-ten believe their leaders send forces abroad either as often as they should or too frequently.

When it came to their country's role in world affairs in general, however, only in the US and the UK did about half or more say their government was too involved. In the others, at least three-of-four said their government was either not doing enough or was doing what it should.

Every country in the survey has forces in Afghanistan, while the US and UK have troops in Iraq as well.

The survey was conducted in mid- to late-May as the war in Iraq was beginning its fourth year and NATO allies were facing a springtime upsurge in violence in Afghanistan. Since then, events have transpired that could change some peoples' views about their countries' roles in foreign affairs, such as the taking of South Korean hostages in Afghanistan and the ascension of new leaders in the UK and France.

In the US, UK and Germany, more than half say their country intervenes militarily too frequently. Elsewhere, more say their government was dispatching troops properly, though Italians are about evenly split between that and saying they are sent too often.

When asked about their country's involvement in world affairs in general, 55% in the US and 48% in the UK said their country does too much. Nowhere else was that sentiment as strong.

In the US, UK, Germany and France, majorities believe their country is viewed by others as a strong force in world affairs.

In general, those who saw too much military involvement by their country were likelier to be female and older people. Better educated people in France were likelier to think their nation has a strong image abroad, while in South Korea the lesser educated more often felt that way.

In the US, Republicans were far more likely than Democrats to approve of the country's overseas involvements, a reflection of partisan splits over Bush's policies. 70% of Democrats said the US sends military forces too often, compared to 32% of Republicans and 51% of independents.

1. Do you think your government gets too involved, is not involved enough, or has about the right amount of involvement in world affairs?

Opinion / Country US Canada S. Korea France Germany Italy Spain UK
Too involved 55 12 15 4 22 13 10 48
Not involved enough 15 36 31 35 19 40 22 15
Right amount of involvement 28 50 51 55 56 34 55 33
Not sure 2 2 3 6 3 13 13 4

2. Do you think other countries view your country as a strong force or a weak force in world affairs?

Opinion / Country US Canada S. Korea France Germany Italy Spain UK
Strong force 69 40 16 54 63 25 39 54
Weak force 29 56 84 39 31 61 49 37
Not sure 2 4 - 7 6 14 12 9

3. Does your government sends military forces to problem spots abroad too often, not often enough, or about as often as it should?

Opinion / Country US Canada S. Korea France Germany Italy Spain UK
Too often 51 28 30 18 52 37 29 61
Not often enough 12 13 7 7 6 9 9 8
About as often as it should 34 56 62 71 39 38 49 27
Not sure 3 3 1 4 3 16 13 4

The poll involved telephone interviews about a thousand people in each country. The margin of sampling error for each country was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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Comments:
From: winstonthriller
Wednesday, 29 Aug 07 | 18:40 (UTC)
But George Bush never listens to polls. Or sound advice.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: london1967
Wednesday, 29 Aug 07 | 19:09 (UTC)
Thanks for posting this. It was very interesting.
(Reply) (Thread)