Global Opinion of Obama Drops Due to Foreign Policy

According to a Pew study, majorities in many countries resent US unilateralism

by John Glaser, March 22, 2013

Public opinion towards the United States in the Muslim world has not improved under President Obama, and it has actually worsened in Pakistan and Jordan since the Bush administration, according to a new Pew study.

USIMAGE00461Approval ratings for Obama in predominantly Muslim nations is very low: “fewer than three-in-ten express confidence in him in Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey and Jordan,” according to a survey of global opinion. Just just 7% of Pakistanis have a positive view of Obama.

Around the world, disapproval of “how the U.S. uses its power – in particular its military power ” is significant.

“There remains a widespread perception that the U.S. acts unilaterally and does not consider the interests of other countries,” Pew found. “In predominantly Muslim nations, American anti-terrorism efforts are still widely unpopular.”

In nearly all countries – not just predominantly Muslim nations – majorities disapprove of the US drone war. A UN investigator fo the drone war said this month the drone attacks in Pakistan are illegal, and many studies have shown the civilian population bears the brunt of the bombing program.

And “support for Obama has waned significantly in China,” the study found, probably because Obama’s “Asia-Pivot” aims to militarily contain China’s economic rise.

Obama came into office with the expressed intent to improve America’s image in the world, primarily by breaking with the Bush administration militarism. But since Obama has largely continued Bush’s unilateralism, public opinion – particularly those on the receiving end of Obama’s foreign policy – has not improved.

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