Majority Of Americans Oppose Intervention In The Internal Affairs Of Middle Eastern Nations
As we head into tonight’s debate, the Pew Research Center is out with a poll showing that most Americans favor a foreign policy that doesn’t rely so much on intervention in unstable parts of the world like the Middle East:
More than six-in-ten (63%) say they think the U.S. should be less involved with changes of leadership in the Middle East, compared with just 23% who say the U.S. should be more involved.
Although Republicans are more likely than Democrats or independents to favor greater involvement, just 34% of Republicans advocate this (compared with 20% of Democrats and 19% of independents).
The one area where this doesn’t seem to be the case is, not surprisingly, Iran:
The public has long favored tough measures to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and 56% now say it is more important to take a firm stand against Iran’s nuclear program, while 35% say it is more important to avoid a military conflict. In January, 50% favored taking a firm stand against Iran and 41% said it was more important to avoid a confrontation.
Given ten years of war, it’s not surprising that the American public is less enthusiastic about interventionism. We’ve paid a heavy price in blood and treasure and have very little to show for it. Add to that the fact that the Arab Spring has created a political climate in several Middle Eastern nations that is less than hospitable to the U.S. to say the least, and the idea of discretion being the better strategy here seems quite apparent. As for the Iran situation, I think that can be attributed to the conflicts we’ve had with that nation over the past three decades. The Iranians have done next to nothing to convince anyone in the United States that they are willing to become responsible citizens of the Middle East, and that’s the primary reason that their nuclear program is something that the average American is concerned about.