November 19, 2009
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.
The story of the tragic and often tormented relationship between the United States and Pakistan, and a call to prepare for the worst, aim for the best, and avoid past mistakes. More
An authoritative and accessible look at what countries must do to build durable and prosperous democracies—and what the United States and others can do to help. More
A groundbreaking analysis of what the changes in American energy mean for the economy, national security, and the environment. More
This Independent Task Force report finds that as more people and services become interconnected and dependent on the Internet, societies are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.
This Independent Task Force asserts that Turkey is an increasingly influential regional and economic power and calls for the United States and Turkey to forge a new partnership.
The authors assess the political, security, and economic challenges facing U.S. policymakers in Afghanistan and evaluate a range of policy options.
Special operations play a critical role in how the United States confronts irregular threats, but to have long-term strategic impact, the author argues, numerous shortfalls must be addressed.
This volume brings together a broad range of Foreign Affairs content to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of Samuel Huntington’s classic article “The Clash of Civilizations?” More
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