The Only Sane Foreign Policy

“What kind of foreign policy does the American public want?” That’s the central question posed by a new poll conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland.

Among the chief findings of the polling of 1,058 Americans were: that “the United States would best serve the national interests by thinking in terms of being a ‘good neighbor’”; and that the U.S. government “plays too much on the public’s fear to justify its foreign policies.”

Seventy-nine percent of the respondents believed that “the United States should think in terms of being a good neighbor with other countries because cooperative relationships are ultimately in the best interests of the United States.” That same broad majority said that the “United States should coordinate its power together with other countries according to shared ideas of what is best for the world as a whole.”

Sixty-five percent agreed with the statement: “When the U.S. government justifies its foreign policies to the American people, it plays on people’s fears too much.”

The new poll, completed Oct. 15, underscores the longing of many Americans for a foreign policy that reflects the good neighbor principles of mutual respect and cooperation. It also pointed to the need for a foreign policy based on hope and determination rather than on fear.

Such a foreign policy is not an exercise of the imagination. “Mutual respect” and “freedom from fear” were the guiding principles of U.S. international relations during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

What kind of foreign policy does the American public want?

The data from the new PIPA poll offers new reason to believe that Americans would support a Global Good Neighbor policy that recognizes the limits of U.S. power, seeks the benefit of international cooperation, and wisely situates U.S. national interests within the context of an improved global neighborhood.

Click the headline for the original reporting by the International Relations Center on this initiative and poll.

Click here for more information on the Global Good Neighbor Initiative.

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