Younger Americans are ‘comfortable’ with the Islamic world
US: Eleven years after the September 11 attacks a record number
in the United States want a less active global role -- and Americans for the
first time see Asia as more important than Europe.
The poll by the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs found
strong differences by age range, with younger Americans the most comfortable
with the Islamic world and China and the least enthusiastic about the use of US
The poll, released on the eve of the anniversary of the
September 11 terror attacks, said 67 percent of Americans did not consider the
Iraq war worth fighting and only 30 percent said that the Afghanistan
intervention made the United States safer. Sixty-one percent of Americans said
that the United States should take an active role in world affairs, but the 38
percent who disagreed marked the highest level taken by the Chicago Council or
comparable polls since 1947.
Nonetheless, 70 percent of Americans described their country
as the greatest in the world.
“There's a strong sense of specialness that Americans have
and this is across generational and partisan lines,” said Marshall Bouton,
president of the Chicago Council.
The dwindling support for foreign wars is “not a
discouragement about the character of their nation. It's an assessment in their
minds that... the United States has got to trim its sails in certain respects,”
The study showed public backing for diplomacy and aid,
particularly to Africa, and support for cutting military spending.
Age groups differed on key issues. Only 23 percent of
Americans between 18 and 29 years old said Islamic fundamentalism would pose a
critical threat over the next 10 years, far down from the 50 percent over age
60 who said so.
Younger Americans are ‘comfortable’ with the Islamic world and China: