When it comes to the U. S.- led military campaign in Afghanistan, the populations of the G- 7 countries, America’s closest economic allies, are on board, but support is weaker outside the G- 7, according to a global poll of attitudes in 12 countries conducted as part of the Ipsos- Reid Global Express quarterly omnibus survey.
Ipsos- Reid is an independent public opinion and market research company with offices across the U. S. and Canada.
"The U. S. government should be gratified to find such solid support among the public in nations that are the closest allies of the U. S., but the U. S. should also recognize that support is not so nearly unanimous in the rest of the G- 7 as it is in the U. S.," reports Thomas Riehle, President, U. S. Public Affairs, Ipsos- Reid.
"Outside the circle of our closest friends— indeed, even in Japan— there are measurable anti- war sentiments that represent majority opinion in Spain, a southern European country with a large Muslim population, and Turkey, a country that sits at the border between Europe and the Arab world, and South Korea, an Asian ally. The doubts reflected there should serve as a warning to the U. S. government on the limits of world support should the military campaign extend beyond the borders of Afghanistan."
Among the findings of the poll:
Support for the military campaign is strongest in the U. S., with 88% in favor and only 7% opposed.
Canada (66% in favor, 23% opposed) and the U. K. (65% in favor, 19% opposed) are strongly supportive as well, although with small but significant anti- war minorities appearing in each country.
France (60%- 25%), Germany (60%- 32%), Italy (58%- 30%), and Japan (49%- 44%) round out the G- 7, with support varying from strong in central Europe to weak, plurality support in the Asian outpost of the G- 7.
Outside the G- 7, opinion is very different. In South Korea, a slim majority of the public expresses opposition to the military campaign (43% in favor, 50% opposed),
while in Spain, the balance of opinion (31% in favor, 52% opposed) is negative.
In China, an urban survey conducted in the five largest cities reveals28% in favor and 52% opposed.
In quasi- national samples, the public in Turkey (18% in favor, 70% opposed) and Argentina (13% in favor, 77% opposed) recorded overwhelming opposition to the
U. S. military efforts. Ipsos- Reid conducted polls in Argentina and Turkey that cover all urban and most rural residents.
The surveys were all conducted during late November and early December.
As you know, the United States has launched military strikes on targets in Afghanistan – including military sites of the Taliban government, and training camps of the Al Qaeda group led by Osama Bin Ladan. All things considered, do you support or oppose these U. S.- led air strikes on Afghanistan?