November 19, 2009
This publication is now archived.
In international polls most, but not all, publics say that force is sometimes necessary to maintain order in the world. European publics tend to think that their countries should be emphasizing a non-military role in international affairs. However, they express willingness to contribute forces to a wide range of possible multilateral operations. Download full chapter (PDF).
International polls find that the UN Security Council (UNSC) is widely seen as having the right to authorize the use of force to prevent and respond to violent conflict in a variety of contingencies: to defend a country that has been attacked, to prevent severe human rights violations such as genocide, to stop a country from supporting terrorist groups, and to restore by force a democratic government that has been overthrown. Download full chapter (PDF).
International polls find the UN Security Council is widely seen as having not only the right, but the responsibility to authorize the use of military force to prevent severe human rights violations. Download full chapter (PDF).
In principle, large majorities around the world favor a standing peacekeeping force selected, trained, and commanded by the United Nations. Majorities in most countries want peacekeeping policy to be decided at the United Nations than decided either by national governments or by regional organizations. Download full chapter (PDF).
Majorities in the United States, European countries, and to some extent elsewhere, approve of participating in peacekeeping missions in principle. As a general rule, support is strong for participation in post-conflict situations and less consistent when it comes to intervening in civil conflict. Publics in Europe and the United States have in recent years supported participation in peacekeeping operations in the Balkans and southern Lebanon. Among other countries, support for participation in the UN peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon has been mixed. Download full chapter (PDF).
Most people around the world think it would be bad if the Taliban were to regain power, but views are now divided on NATO’s Afghanistan mission. A plurality favors ending the mission, but this appears to be based on a widespread belief that the Afghans want NATO to leave. Most Europeans oppose increasing combat troops above current levels, but withdrawal does not get majority support. Among Americans, reducing troop levels does not get majority support, and withdrawal is likewise rejected. Download full chapter (PDF).
Internationally, views have been mixed as to whether the United Nations has the responsibility, rather than simply the right, to intervene in Darfur. Approximately half of the countries polled expressed a readiness to contribute troops to an international force to stop the killing, and a large majority of Europeans polled expressed a readiness to contribute troops to a humanitarian operation in Darfur. Muslim countries polled expressed confidence that such an intervention could be effective. A poll of African countries expressed support for either the United Nations or the African Union intervening in a situation like Darfur. Download full chapter (PDF).
When NATO decides to take a military action, U.S. and European publics think that all NATO members should contribute troops and if not, then they should at least contribute financially (though Eastern European countries are more mixed on both of these questions). Most EU publics do not think that an EU decision to take military action creates an imperative for a member country to participate. Download full chapter (PDF).
On average, a slight majority of the publics of Cambodia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Abkhazia, Lebanon, Somalia, and Georgia said they found the peacekeeping operations in their countries in the 1990s to have been effective. Publics in the permanent members of the UN Security Council offered similar assessments. Download full chapter (PDF).
Micah Zenko covers the U.S. national security debate.
The definitive account of the secret war in Laos, which forever changed the CIA from a relatively small spying agency into an organization with vast paramilitary powers. More
CFR President Haass argues for an updated global operating system to address challenges from terrorism to climate change. More
Alden provides an enlightening history of the last four decades of U.S. trade policies and a blueprint for how to keep the United States competitive in a globalized economy. More
The Task Force recommends revising U.S. policy toward North Korea to break the cycle of North Korean provocation and promote stability in Northeast Asia.
India now matters to U.S. interests in virtually every dimension. This Independent Task Force report assesses the current situation in India and the U.S.-India relationship, and suggests a new model for partnership with a rising India.
Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in low- and middle-income countries are increasing faster than in wealthier countries. The report outlines a plan for collective action on this growing epidemic.
This report 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.
Segal offers recommendations for cooperation on issues such as encryption, data localization, and cybersecurity.
Knopf argues that the only remaining path for South Sudan is for an international transitional administration to run the country for a finite period.
The U.S. relationship with Israel is in trouble. Blackwill and Gordon offer six core policy proposals to repair, redefine, and invigorate the partnership.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2016 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.
Read and download »
To request permission to reprint or reuse CFR material, please fill out this permissions request form (PDF), referring to the instructions on page 1.
Experts discuss a survey that examines how college-aged students think about--and how much they know about--foreign policy, international...
What CFR.org editors are reading the week of January 4–8, 2016.
Over the past decade, a string of war movies emerged in the wake of 9/11: The Hurt Locker, Syriana, The Messenger, Green Zone, Lone Survivor,...
Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC), joins David J. Scheffer, the secretary-general's special expert on UN...