November 19, 2009
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The U.S. public, like publics in most other developed nations, expresses support for giving development assistance to poor countries. There is a widespread consensus in the United States that developed countries have a moral responsibility to work to reduce hunger and severe poverty and that helping poor countries develop serves the long-term interests of wealthy countries, including by developing trade partners and enhancing global stability. In addition, Americans perceive development aid as furthering democracy and, for a more modest number of respondents, as a way to fight terrorism. Besides financial aid, large majorities of Americans express a willingness to contribute troops for humanitarian operations, including providing assistance to victims of war and famine. Download full chapter (PDF).
There is a strong consensus among Americans that wealthy nations are not doing enough to help poorer nations. At the same time, less than a majority of U.S. respondents favored increased government spending on aid, or higher taxes to pay for more foreign aid. However, these attitudes are based on extremely exaggerated estimates of how much aid the U.S. government is giving.
In addition, when increased spending is placed in the context of a multilateral effort—specifically the Millennium Development Goal of cutting hunger and severe poverty in half—a large majority of Americans said they would support increasing their spending to the necessary amount to meet the goal, provided other countries do the same. However, public awareness of the MDGs remains low. Download full chapter (PDF).
There is strong U.S. support for multilateral institutions taking the lead in setting aid policies and delivering development assistance, but not in dealing with refugees. Download full chapter (PDF).
Majorities of Americans favor linking the level of aid given to poor countries with a variety of conditions, including the recipient country’s efforts to promote democracy and fight poverty, corruption, and terrorism, though U.S. public support is consistently lower than global support for insisting on these conditions. A large majority also favors giving aid to help poor countries reduce greenhouse gases as part of an agreement wherein they commit to limit the growth of their emissions. Download full chapter (PDF).
Edward Alden and others explore ideas and initiatives for rebuilding American economic strength.
Ashley's War tells the poignant and gripping story of a groundbreaking team of female American warriors who served alongside Special Operations soldiers in Afghanistan. More
Smith's insightful book explores the policy issues testing the Japanese government as it tries to navigate its relationship with an advancing China. More
This revolutionary new look at volatility and crisis in oil markets explores the conditions in which oil supply fears arise, gain popularity, and eventually wane. More
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This Independent Task Force asserts that elevating and prioritizing the U.S.-Canada-Mexico relationship offers the best opportunity for strengthening the United States and its place in the world.
Williams argues that the status quo for peace operations in untenable and that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass.
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