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.
Janine Davidson examines the art, politics, and business of American military power.
Red Team provides an in-depth investigation into the work of red teams, revealing the best practices, most common pitfalls, and most effective applications of these modern-day devil's advocates. More
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
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.
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 2015 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.
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,...
The diplomat George Kennan described World War I as “the great seminal catastrophe” of the twentieth century, because it led to so many...
The philosopher Alfred North Whitehead once remarked that the history of European philosophy consists of a series of footnotes to Plato. For...
What CFR.org Editors are reading this week of October 13-October 17.