September 11, 2020 | By Joshua Busby, Stephen Slick

Public Attitudes on US Intelligence: 2019 Survey Confirms Broad Support Despite Limited Transparency and Persistent Presidential Antagonism

Data gathered in UT-Austin’s third annual survey of public attitudes on US Intelligence confirm that most Americans believe the country’s intelligence agencies are necessary and make vital contributions to national security. This level of support does not appear to be negatively impacted by the Intelligence Community’s (IC) reduced public engagement or the continued criticism of national security agencies by President Donald Trump. An overwhelming majority of Americans regard the US intelligence agencies as effective in accomplishing their assigned missions with 8 in 10 of those surveyed crediting the IC with preventing terrorist attacks and successfully uncovering the plans of our adversaries. The IC still faces a challenge persuading Americans that it respects their privacy and civil liberties. Only half of survey respondents believe that the intelligence agencies effectively safeguard Americans’ privacy rights and civil liberties while pursuing their necessary missions. This concern is widespread even among the IC’s strongest and most knowledgeable supporters. Relatively few Americans understand the institutional framework for supervising and overseeing these powerful and secretive organizations.


The Chicago Council on Global Affairs highlights critical shifts in American public thinking on US foreign policy through public opinion surveys and research conducted under the Lester Crown Center on US Foreign Policy. 

The annual Chicago Council Survey, first conducted in 1974, is a valuable resource for policymakers, academics, media, and the general public. The Council also surveys American leaders in government, business, academia, think tanks, and religious organizations biennially to compare trends in their thinking with overall trends. And collaborating with partner organizations, the survey team periodically conducts parallel surveys of public opinion in other regions of the world to compare with US public opinion. 

The Running Numbers blog features regular commentary and analysis from the Council’s public opinion and US foreign policy research team, including a series of flash polls of a select group of foreign policy experts to assess their opinions on critical foreign policy topics driving the news.


| By Renee Perper

The Arab World Reacts to The Abraham Accords

Although President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claim that the Abraham Accords represent a "new dawn of peace" in the Middle East, how do other Arab nation's view this historic agreement?

| By Craig Kafura

Americans and Asia in 2020: Three Things to Know

With the US election drawing near, all eyes are on the United States and the choices the public is about to make. As Americans go to the polls, here are three key things to know about American views of Asia and the key issues in the region.