The US standing in the world

February 12, 2019

Various polls show that mainstream Americans have reservations about Trump’s foreign policy. Over 63 percent of Americans disapprove of the president’s handling of international affairs, while only 35 percent approve. There are splits along party lines as well; 76 percent of Republicans approve of Trump’s handling of foreign policy, while only 8% percent of Democrats do. This dissention around Trump’s foreign policy comes two years into his administration. Trump has frequently attacked America’s allies and has weakened long-standing alliances such as NATO through his hostile oratory and tearing up of international treaties i.e. the Paris climate agreement and Iran nuclear deal. This has been a boon to America’s contenders, such as Russia and China. Trump has been hard on China, particularly when it comes to trade, but it’s still indistinct whether this strategy will end up achieving what the president desires. Trump’s fresh rapprochement with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un helped walk Washington and Pyongyang back from the brink of war, but the administration has exaggerated its success in getting North Korea to commit to denuclearization. The president’s administration might be on the threshold of agreeing to a peace framework in Afghanistan, ending America’s longest-running war. At the same time, his sudden announcement that he planned to pull troops out of Syria in December without notifying partners strained alliances once again. Perhaps given this record, there’s less optimism overall for what Trump can accomplish when it comes to foreign policy. While Republicans are much more upbeat about Trump’s international approach, only 22 percent Americans believe its relations with foes, such as Russia and North Korea, would improve this year. There’s also a prejudiced split when it comes to Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Syria. A total of 41 percent of Americans approve of pulling out of Afghanistan with 56 percent of Republicans and 30 percent of Democrats disapprove. When it comes to Syria, 39 percent of Americans approve, including 56 percent of Republicans and 26 percent of Democrats who back the decision. Compare that to 21 percent of Republicans and 48 percent of Democrats who disapprove of Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria. When it comes to Americans’ foreign policy concerns these divisions also occur. Sixty-eight percent of Republicans say illegal immigration is the biggest threat to the United States. But a majority of Democrats see climate change a direct danger to the US, while another 65 percent of Democrats say Russia’s influence worldwide threatens America. Only 29 percent of Republicans agree about the hazards of the Kremlin’s tricks.


 Majority of Americans believe the US’s standing in the world will deteriorate in the current year and only 21 percent think it will improve.