September 11, 2017

Americans Not Sure Trump's Policies Will Make America Safer

In his inaugural speech, President Trump promised to "unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth." But his administration has yet to release a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy. The president has tinkered around the edges, with unsuccessful attempts to implement a travel ban from six countries in the Middle East and has continued the Obama administration's blend of airstrikes, Special Forces raids, and military training of the Iraqi army.

The 2017 Chicago Council Survey finds that a majority of Americans continue to believe that international terrorism is one of the most critical threats to the United States (75%), and majorities of Americans (68%) continue to support the use of US airstrikes to combat violent Islamic extremist groups in Syria. The public is more divided, however, over the Trump administration’s ability to make America safe from terrorism. While one-third of Americans (32%) believe President Trump’s policies will make the US safer from the threat of terrorism, another third (35%) think it will make America less safe. 

Read the full survey brief here.

About

Dina Smeltz joined The Chicago Council on Global Affairs in February 2012 as a senior fellow in public opinion and foreign policy, and directed the Council’s 2012 survey of American public opinion (see Foreign Policy in the New Millennium).  She has nearly 20 years of experience in designing and fielding international social, political and foreign policy surveys.

As the director of research in the Middle East and South Asia division (2001-2007) and analyst/director of the European division (1992-2004) in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the US State Department’s Office of Research, Dina conducted over a hundred surveys in these regions and regularly briefed senior government officials on key research findings. Her experience includes mass public and elite surveys as well as qualitative research.  She has written numerous policy-relevant reports on Arab, Muslim and South Asian regional attitudes toward political, economic, social and foreign policy issues.  Her writing also includes policy briefs and reports on the post-1989 political transitions in Central and Eastern Europe, and European attitudes toward a wide range foreign policy issues including globalization, European integration, immigration, NATO, and European security.

With a special emphasis research in post-conflict situations (informally referred to as a “combat pollster”), Dina has worked with research teams in Bosnia, Kosovo, Cyprus, Israel-Palestinian Territories and in Iraq (2003-2005), where she was one of the few people on the ground who could accurately report average Iraqis impressions of the postwar situation.  In the past three years, Dina has consulted for several NGOs and research organizations on projects spanning women’s development in Afghanistan, civil society in Egypt and evaluating voter education efforts in Iraq.

Dina has an MA from the University of Michigan and a BS from Pennsylvania State University.

Feel free to email Dina with comments or questions at dsmeltz@thechicagocouncil.org

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Americans Not Sure Trump's Policies Will Make America Safer

The 2017 Chicago Council Survey finds that majorities of Americans continue to think that international terrorism is one of the most critical threats to the United States. But the overall public is not convinced that the Trump administration's policies will make the United States safer from terrorism.