Foreign Policy in the Age of Retrenchment

September 15, 2014

By: Dina Smeltz, Senior Fellow, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy; Ivo H. Daalder, President, Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Craig Kafura, Assistant Director, Public Opinion and Foreign Policy

Americans show solid support for US international engagement according to The Chicago Council's 2014 survey of American public opinion on foreign policy. The report, Foreign Policy in the Age of Retrenchment, was released on Monday, September 15, 2014.

In stark contrast to the ongoing dialogue among the political elite suggesting the American public has become more isolationist, the 2014 Chicago Council Survey data reveal that six in ten Americans continue to say that the United States should play an active part in world affairs. While Americans remain war-weary after Iraq and Afghanistan and prefer to stay out of large-scale interventions that require extended deployments of ground troops, majorities of Americans are willing to support air strikes or send US troops in response to top threats or humanitarian crises.

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Chicago Council Survey, and over the decades, American attitudes toward foreign policy have consistently supported international engagement. The public continues to support robust US leadership on the global stage, favoring diplomacy-first solutions and working within a multilateral framework.   

The 2014 Chicago Council Survey was made possible by generous support from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the Korea Foundation, the United States-Japan Foundation, and Chicago Council Chairman Lester Crown.

Foreign Policy in the Age of Retrenchment

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