International perception of the United States’ military tactics has rarely been positive in the years since the war on terror, but a recent survey has put some stiff figures behind those sentiments. Both global opinions of President Barack Obama and the United States’ international policy were shown to have fallen significantly since the president’s first year in office.
Specifically, the use of unmanned drones to conduct attacks on foreign soil has come under fire. In 17 of the 21 countries polled by the Pew Research Center, more than 50 percent of the population opposed these attacks. Drones are used to scout out potential militants and extremist groups in under-populated areas of countries like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, but are harshly criticized due to the possibility of civilian casualties in the strikes.
“There remains a widespread perception that the US acts unilaterally and does not consider the interests of other countries,” Pew’s Global Attitudes Project found. Countries with a predominately Muslim population were among the greatest detractors of American anti-terrorism efforts.
America was one of the countries surveyed, and unsurprisingly, was the only country in which a majority supported the drone attacks. Some 62 percent of the general population supported the drone campaign, including 74 percent of Republicans. The Obama administration has yet to comment on the Pew Research Center’s findings.
Though government security advisors maintain that drone strikes are an integral part of America’s strategy in the war on terror, nations like Islamabad have accused the United States of violating international law and the sovereignty of international states. Public opinion of the president has taken a nose dive in Pakistan, following the death of Osama Bin Laden.
“Roughly a year after he ordered the Abbottabad raid that killed Osama bin Laden, just 7% of Pakistanis have a positive view of Obama, the same percentage that voiced confidence in President George W. Bush during the final year of his administration,” the survey found.
Obama remains more popular than his predecessor in most countries though, with the majority of the countries polled supporting his re-election, especially in Europe. The data from the survey was collected from March 17-April 20 of this year.