Obama Administration Foreign Policy Approval Declines

In sharp contrast to the global optimism felt when President Barack Obama first took office, new polls suggest that both domestic and international approval of the Obama administration foreign policy has declined significantly.

According to polls taken by Fox News, Time, CBS, and CNN in June 2013, an average of 46 percent of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s foreign policy, while 44 percent approve.

A majority of Americans are supportive of U.S. drone strikes in the Middle East, which have become a centerpiece of the administration’s security efforts against terrorist activities in the Middle East. However, the Pew study showed that domestic approval of the Obama Administration’s overall foreign policy has still declined significantly since 2009.

This may be attributed to the administration’s decision to supply weapons to rebel fighters in Syria. Seventy percent of Americans oppose any kind of intervention in the war-torn country. Americans are also frustrated by the war in Afghanistan.

Most Americans – 56 percent – feel that the war was not worth fighting. Only 27 percent believe that the United States should keep troops in Afghanistan until the 2014 withdrawal deadline.

A 2012 study conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that the decline in international support results primarily from U.S. drone strikes and counter-terrorism actions in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. Only 15 percent of Muslim nations view U.S. foreign policy favorably – in Pakistan alone, only 7 percent approve.

Russia, China, and Mexico saw the greatest drops in support, with only 22 percent, 27 percent, and 39 percent of those polled having favorable opinions about Obama’s foreign policy initiatives, respectively.

Although support for America’s international efforts remains moderately high with its allies in Europe and Japan, they too showed noticeable drops in approval with respective declines of 15 and 19 percentage points.

The general consensus of the international polling expresses concern that the United States acts without regarding the interests of other nations. On the domestic side, mounting frustration over Syria and Afghanistan has taken its toll.

These issues, along with the recent accusations that the U.S. has been spying on European leaders, may require the Obama Administration reexamine its foreign policy if it is to successfully accomplish its second term agenda.