November 19, 2009
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.
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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